THE government has credited its partnership with the USAID Public Sector Systems Strengthening (USAID PS3+) project for its enhanced transparency, accountability and service delivery, among other benefits.
The USAID PS3+ is a five-year project funded by the US government and implemented through the USAID with support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
The project’s overall objective is to strengthen government systems at both national and local levels to improve the access, use, and quality of service deliveries across agriculture, education, health, and other sectors, with a major focus on support for underserved populations.
The project has successfully collaborated in strengthening multiple government systems including Facility Financial Accounting and Reporting System (FFARS), Government of Tanzania Health Operations Management Information System (GoTHOMIS), Local Government Revenue Collection Information System (LGRCIS/TAUSI), MUSE (Government Expenditure Management System), and Planning and Reporting System (PlanRep), among others.
During a recent tabling of the budget estimates for the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) in the National Assembly, the Minister for the docket, Ms Angellah Kairuki noted how USAID PS3+’s partnership in improving the systems helped to strengthen public service delivery across multiple levels.
Minister Kairuki also mentioned how in the 2022/23 financial year, PORALG improved the Facility Financial Accounting and Reporting System (FFARS), including extending its use to lower-level governments.
“The improvements of this system have enabled it to be extended to the ward, village, and street levels with the aim of enhancing transparency, accountability and expenditure tracking in Local Government Authorities,” said Ms Kairuki.
She further stated that in the health sector, the government has continued to improve and encourage the use of the GOT Health Operations Management Information System (GoTHOMIS).
Elaborating, Minister Kairuki noted that as of February of this year a total of 1,424 health facilities were using the system in their daily operations, especially in the provision of services.
“The use of this system has helped to control the loss of medical drugs and equipment, increase in revenue, availability of medicines and smooth reporting processes,” she said.
She said that following the challenges which were facing the local government authorities in planning and budgeting, the PORALG has strengthened the PlanRep system being used at local government level to be extended to the ward, village, and street levels.
“This system has enhanced accountability in preparations of various plans and budgets thus minimised the cost of printing various documents,” Ms Kairuki pointed out.
She said the system has helped in the evaluation and tracking of expenditure in projects and interventions identified in the plans and budgets of local government authorities and that the system is also being used by institutions and public organisations which are under the treasury registrar.
The minister said, in ensuring efficiency in councils’ revenue collection- PORALG worked on the challenges associated with Local Government Revenue Collection Information System (LGRCIS) by constructing a new system- TAUSI which started to be used in the current financial year.
“By February this year, a total of 169 councils had started to use the system… this system has controlled revenue loss and expenditure… it has also enabled customers to access services without visiting the council offices such as getting construction permits, business licences,” the minister noted.
USAID PS3+ has also supported the government with the extension of Helpdesk support system and Contact Centre services (call centre services) to all regions in the country, consistent with government decentralisation policy, to ease the provision of services to the citizens and respond to their requests and complaints without visiting PORALG offices in Dodoma.