Factors influencing the use of integrated financial management and information systems in public sector. a case of selected government ministries in Kenya.
Kwena, Franklin Imbuye
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The need for reform of the public finance management system in Kenya was emphasized in the Economic Recovery Strategy for the Wealth and Employment Creation, the ERS for 2003-2007, as a crucial element in order to achieve sustainable economic growth, alleviate poverty, and improve public sector performance. Consequently, the Government of Kenya implemented the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS) as part of public finance management system reform. The IFMIS implementation requirement in Kenya originated from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning's ICT Master plan 2001-2005, which highlighted gaps and weakness within the SIBET system that was being used at the time. While the benefits of IFMIS in government cannot be disputed, there are a number concerns about its success as well as the strategies adopted in implementation of the system in line ministries. This research project addressed the characteristic challenges that users of the IFMIS face by investigating factors that influence use of IFMIS in government ministries. It presented results of literature review experiences of other countries having IFMIS from both developed and developing countries and preliminary studies grounded in the Kenya Government reality. The study targeted a total population of 134 senior government accountants in 25 government ministries already using the IFMIS: However, for purposes of sampling, a stratified random sampling was used, each ministry being considered as a stratum. A sample ratio of 0.3 was employed to draw a sample from each stratum consequently generating a total sample size of 40 respondents to be studied. The focus was on four factors that influence the use of IFMIS, namely, staff resistance, management commitment, system complexity, as well as capacity and skills of users. The significance of the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variable was achieved through correlation of variables. Data was collected using a questionnaire administered to all sample respondents. Analysis and presentation of data was done using descriptive statistics for example, graphs and frequency distributions. The study established that use of the IFMIS is affected largely by sabotage and resistance. The study also established that management support is lacking and top management does not inspire the user. The capacity and technical knowhow was found to be low due to lack of training and the hurried implementation of the system. The study recommended that the government employs a change agent to oversee the implementation of the IFMIS and that the users of the system to undergo on the job training, in order to improve their skills and capabilities to use the system. This study is of great benefit to the Government of Kenya in its pursuit of reforming the public finance management system.