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e-Governance Initiatives and IF & HRMS

Pioneering computerization in Tamil Nadu

          1972- Treasuries and Accounts Department is one of the first departments to adopt computerized systems. The computing facilities at Government Data Centre, Chennai were used in 1972 for preparing monthly accounts. The data received from all the treasuries were captured by using punched cards and processed on IBM1401 system. It is a commendable pioneering initiative of the department. However, the hardware and software facilities of that time were not suited for effective implementation since the whole data had to be received to a central location at Chennai and entered. Nevertheless, this created awareness on usage of computers among the majority of the employees of the department and introduced systems amenable for computerisation.

Need for computerisation

        Need for computerisation arose, as Tamilnadu is the only state, which compiles and renders the monthly accounts to the sub-detailed level to the Accountant General. In respect of other states AG prepares the monthly accounts based on the list of payments / receipts sent by the treasuries. Thus for the limited purpose of preparation of monthly accounts, preparation of pension statements and watching of budget provision to certain extent the need for computerisation was felt.

In the 1990s with the advent of low cost Personal Computers, the distributed computing became feasible. The developments that followed are:

  • Computerization of compilation of accounts in 1991-92

  •  Pilot Compilation in Nandanam and Tambaram Sub Treasuries during 1992-93

  • PC-AT/286 systems used at the pilot sites under MSDOS / FoxBASE environments

  • Application software developed by National Informatics Centre

  • Used as back-office systems for capturing daily receipts and payments details

  • AT/386 system installed at Thiruvallur District Treasury and AT/286 systems in all its Sub Treasuries.

  • The UNIX / FoxBASE systems at the District Treasury was used for preparing monthly accounts using the daily data received through floppies from the Sub Treasuries.

  • Pilot replicated in phases in all the District Treasuries, Sub Treasuries, Pay and Accounts Offices and Pension Pay Office.

  • The monthly accounts thus generated submitted to Accountant General, Chennai.

  • These systems were in use in all the District Treasuries, Sub Treasuries, PAOs and PPO

  • Thanks to the funds from XI-Finance Commission amounting to Rs.3.46 Crores from which many of the old systems have been replaced by new ones

  • Pilot Electronic Clearing System (ECS) for payment of pension is introduced in the Pension Pay Office, Chennai (PPO) in 1998

  • The Pension Pay Office generates bankwise, branchwise scrolls for making monthly payments to pensioners using the application software provided by NIC.

  • The same software is being used in most of the Sub Treasuries.

  • The Server Systems at District Treasuries, PAOs and PPO upgraded to Intel Xeon processor based Servers under Linux environment in 2003.

  • The systems at Sub Treasuries have been upgraded to Pentium 4 clients in most of the Sub Treasuries.

  •  All but two sub treasuries have been converted as banking sub treasuries and cheque system introduced

  • The tremendous success of ECS for pensioners in PPO led to the extension of ECS for payment of salary to the employees of offices attached to PAO(Secretariat) and PAO(East) in Chennai w.e.f. April 2003.

  • ECS  implemented in all the PAOs, District Treasuries and most of the sub-treasuries.

  • More than 95%of the Government servants are getting their salary only through ECS throughout the State

  • Later in 2005 payment of non-statutory deductions like LIC premium, Co-operative Society payment, Bank payments etc., through ECS were introduced and being implemented.

  • Subsequently, the payment of non salary items like GPF advances/ part-final withdrawals, TA bill, Medical bill reimbursements, surrender leave salary etc., through ECS were introduced and being implemented in a phased manner

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          Thus handling of huge volume of cash in the name of physical disbursement is totally dispensed with

    On Line Bill Passing- a switch over from back office systems to WORKFLOW based system

    1999 ushered in a new concept of "On Line Bill Passing" system wherein to begin with a few selective treasury functions in the Pay and Accounts Office (Sectt.) were brought under implementation on trial basis. "On Line Bill Passing" rechristened as "Automated Treasury Bill Passing System-" was revived again in 2003 and the pilot project was extended to two more Districts namely Karur and Theni.

    Unique features of ATBPS:

  • Unlike in other states the thrust is on real ‘online’ where right from presentation of the bills to compilation of accounts would be "online".

  • The systems implemented so far had been back-office systems for capturing the details from the passed bills for generating required Accounts Statements and Registers.

  • Workflow based Systems capturing the data starting from bill submission stage at the counters.

  • The officials can process the bills online and take action for passing / rejecting the claim.

  • The application software developed by NIC is under Windows and ASP.NET environment with SQL Server 2000 as database.

  • The system provides online Envioronment.

  • This was taken up for pilot implementation at Karur and Theni District Treasuries and their Sub Treasuries besides PAO Secretariat. Regular run of ATBPS commenced at PAO(Secretariat),Chennai, Karur and Theni Districts from 2007.

  •  e-Governance committee for treasuries and accounts department was formed in   G.O.MS.No.86 Finance (T& A II)dated 11.3.2004 for offering expert opinion for  the preparation of techno- commercial proposal for the total computerisation & e-Governance of the Department.

    The committee:

              The committee now consists of the following members after the latest revisions ordered in G.O. Ms. No. 518 Finance ( T & A III) dated 22.6.2009.

    List of e-Governance Members :

    • Thiru Mohan Pyare, IAS, Principal Secretary / Commissioner of Treasuries and Accounts, Chairperson of the Committee   

    Members of e-Governance Committee :

  • Dr. T.V. Somanathan, , IAS, Secretary to Government, Planning, Development and Special initiatives, Secretariat, Chennai-9

  • Dr. V Sankaranarayanan, Director (University Projects), B.S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Engg. Collecte, Vandalur, Chennai-48

  • Dr. K Udayakumar, Professor, Anna University

  • Thiru P. Krishna Prasad, Senior Technical Director, National Informatics Centre,Chennai

  • Dr. V Soundarapandian, General Manager (Retd), BHEL, Tiruchirappalli

  • Thiru R Parthiban, Joint Director (GIS), Treasuries and Accounts

  • Thiru T. Pasupathi, PA (Treasury Control) to CTA

  •             As a part of the study, two Sub-Committees consisting of experienced retired officers of the Department looked into the following aspects:

  • Revision of forms for use in computerised systems

  • Revision of work procedures and maintenance of various registers

  • Sub committee members done a thorough and complete process re-engineering and the report was submitted to the Government on 27th August 2004 and also to the e-Governance Committee members.

    Recommendations of the e-Gov committee so far implemented are:

    Change management involves capacity building, awareness and attitudinal change in the end user as well the agencies/departments and others who interact with T&A dept. on a day to day basis

    Several interactive sessions were conducted with the Drawing and Disbursing Officers, Accountant General, RBI and its agency banks (Nationalized banks) conducting Government transaction through Treasuries, National Informatics Centre,Chennai, ELCOT Ltd., etc.

    Interactive sessions were also conducted in the presence of respective District Collectors throughout the State.

    Training: In co-ordination with the Director of Technical Education, reputed Engineering Colleges and Polytechnics in the districts conducted basic computer training for all the treasury personnel right from the level of Additional Treasury Officer to the level of Junior Assistant. Subsequently Advanced Level computer training was also conducted  for all the staff in all the Districts in 2007 with the assistance of Directorate of Technical Education.All the Joint Directors and the CAOs have been imparted training by the NIC.

    Anna Institute of Management, Chennai is imparting short term (3-5 days) computer and e-Governance courses for which staff from the offices in Chennai are regularly sponsored.

    Infrastructure: ATBPS locations like PAO Secretariat, Theni and Karur Treasuries have been provided with modular offices along with requisite hardware and software for the ATBPS.   As recommended by the e-Gov committee some of the District Treasuries which are relocating themselves in new buildings have been furnished with Modular furniture and with computer hardware and software. Wherever NIC leased line is available District treasuries are being refurbished with modular offices and computer hardware and software.    Further ATBPS have been extended to Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai, Perambalur and Ramanathapuram Districts and PAO(Madurai) in G.O. Ms. No. 146 Finance (T & A III) Dated 20.3.2006. All the District Treasuries and Sub-Treasuries in the five districts were provided with modular office furniture and computer equipments for all the staff for the implementation of ATBPS.

     

    Other initiatives :

  • Intranet based system for capture of salary details under Electronic Clearance System implemented at PAOs and all District Treasuries

  • Health Fund Scheme Management System developed in- house by the office of T&A

  • All India Service Officers Group Insurance Accounting System developed in-house the office of T&A

    Stamp account Management Information System developed by NIC

    ECS Information System developed by NIC through which any employee may access status of salary and non salary bills by entering GPF account no./bank account no./token number.

  • TNSWAN – ELCOT has established vertical connectivity to Chennai with all district head quarters and in turn with all Taluk headquarters. Proposals sent to Government to link all the PAOs / District Treasuries, Sub-Treasuries and all other offices of this department, through horizontal connectivity.  In TNSWAN, 104 locations have already been connected .

  • Some of the critical factors to be taken into account are the following:

  •  Necessary procedural changes in manual operations

  • Core team from the department to suggest and approve the changes

  • Project monitoring team at every level

  • Necessary budget and commitment from the department for sustaining the systems

  • Sub Committee members review the TN Treasury code and submit their report wherever amendments are necessary. Proposals are sent to Government for making appropriate amendments to the Code based on the sub-committee report.

  • e- governance initiatives and IF & HRMS
               
                Now the Department of Treasuries and Accounts is making a holistic approach towards e-governance, focusing on process engineering, workload optimization and robust management of state finance with the help of technology and the Department has decided to embark upon its next phase of e-governance initiatives.

    An Integrated Financial & Human Resource Management System (IF&HRMS) is at the core of this transformation. The IF&HRMS shall take care of activities of the Finance Department to a larger extent by bringing Department of Treasuries and Accounts and other departments online and ensuring real time updating of the Government financial transactions. The IF&HRMS will also take care of the Human Resource Component by reducing the workload and associated drudgery at various levels besides making it paper less and provide a hassle free environment for transactions with and within the Finance Department / Treasury Department / other Departments and thereby ensure robust management of the State finances.

                M/s.Accenture Services Pvt.Ltd., Chennai has been appointed as Consulting Agency through an agreement dated 18.07.2012 to make a thorough study of the existing system in Finance and Administration of the State Government and formulate proposals for the implementation of the IF & HRMS.  The Consulting Agency will provide consultancy services, identify the System Integrator and perform various activities to put in place a total solution for e-governance. The Agency is expected to prepare the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the appointment of a System Integrator in a period of 5 months and there after the System will be rolled out in a period of 2 years.

                As ordered in the G.O.Ms.307, Finance (T&A) Department, dated: 13.8.2012, an “e-governance team” has been established in the Commissionerate of Treasuries and Accounts, with the following staff members:
                One Joint Director, one Chief Accounts Officer, one Accounts Officer and two Retired Officials.

                The team will co-ordinate with the Consulting Agency by providing information required by the Agency to undertake the “As-Is” viz the rules and procedures being followed by the Finance & Treasury Department, Business Process Re-engineering etc., including Human Resource management functions. The team will also render necessary assistance to the System Integrator in computerizing the functions of Finance Department in Secretariat and Treasuries & Accounts Department, incorporating the elements of Human Resources Management.

                The work plan schedule of the Consulting Agency for the implementations of IF&HRMS is as follows:

    Phase 1 - Assessment of current status of IT, study of cost practices, Business Process Re-engineering, Preparation of Detailed Project Report, Submission of Request For Proposal (RFP) for System Integrator.
    Phase 2 - Evaluation of bids & assist in selecting System Integrator and Contract Signing
    Phase 3 - Solution Development, Testing and certification, Change Management.
    Phase 4 - Pilot implementation and Statewide Roll out.

                The IF&HRMS shall include the following modules:
                1. Budget
                2. Accounts
                3. Letter of Credit
                4. Personnel Management and Payroll
                5. Pension
                6. Fund Management
                7. Virtual Treasury
                8. Banking Interface
                9. AG Interface
                10. Financial Data warehouse
                11. Inventory Management
                12. Strong room safety and Stamp Management
                13. On line grievances etc.,