THE Maldives, with a population of 400,000 dispersed amongst approximately 200 small, remote islands adopted a decentralised form of governance in 2008. This brought significant changes to the structure and functions of the government as the newly formed local councils at the atoll, city and island levels were delegated increased responsibilities and authority necessitating the strengthening of their system and capacity for governance. A key area that required strengthening was that of procurement and financial accounting, reporting and accountability of Local Councils.
The newly adopted Decentralisation Act necessitated standardisation of accounting and procurement procedures throughout all councils. However due to limited skilled man-power, increased responsibilities and with a manual system, adhering to the regulations and maintaining proper record system has been very weak at the councils.
The Local Government Authority (LGA) as the state agency to regulate and build capacity of councils, took the initiative to develop a system called E-Council – integrated financial, procurement and project management system to strengthen and standardise the internal procurement, financial and administrative structure of councils. The establishment of E-council software has been an innovative effort in terms of digitalising the manual procurement, administrative and financial framework of local councils.
E-Council was selected as the winner from Maldives at the South Asia Procurement Innovation Award (SAPIA) 2017.
1. Standardising the local councils’ financial management, procurement and administration systems and record keeping functions.
2. Establishing efficient, accurate processing and accounting transactions with adequate control in place.
3. Enhancing the reporting process of local councils connecting them with the central government in line with statutory.
4. Providing economic and efficient services to the public.
5. Establishment of a robust information management system to collect data from councils.