The government has been handling financial transaction processing manually for years, while tax agencies use numerous stand-alone systems to generate financial information. According to the 2016 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment, this situation resulted in lack of budget credibility, lack of funding predictability, weak cash management system, and lack of a common budget and accounting classification. In partnership with Globe Telecom and FreeBalance, Inc., the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced the implementation of a secure and reliable modern information system for financial management to achieve greater transparency, accountability, and efficiency among national agencies.
The DBM introduced the Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS), an integrated and automated platform that will enable government disbursements to be reported in real time. According to the DBM, the BTMS provides a sustainable government resource planning (GRP) solution that is extendable, flexible and adaptable to reforms and meets a wide range of public financial requirements. The platform will support the DBM in the maintenance and completion of budgetary appropriations and balances for each national agency. The government will revolutionize the way things are done with the implementation of the BTMS and further enhance the ability to deliver public service. Effective use of modern technology will enhance fiscal responsibility as it allows people to keep an eye on the financial status of government in real time. The project was awarded because of the joint venture of Globe through its subsidiary, Innove communications, and FreeBalance Inc. Globe contributed the infrastructure for the project while FreeBalance developed the software based on globally acquired solutions but was configured and customized for the Philippine government. Tapping BTMS’ full features under the GRP platform of FreeBalance will help the government ensure a more responsive, transparent and accountable system for managing public spending. It might also help improve PEFA evaluation scorecards, strengthen performance-based budgeting and drive macroeconomic management.
The World Bank noted that with the existence of an integrated financial management system, public financial management of the country would be more efficient. By design, BTMS will support DBM in each national agency's maintenance and complete trailing of budget appropriations and balances. It will also work alongside with the high-level aggregation of processes related to the collection, handling and use of the Treasury Bureau’s cash resources.