More Government ministries to go digital

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and ANZ Fiji country head Saud Minam after signing the transactive banking agreement in Suva. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERMENT

MORE Government ministries are expected to soon transition towards digital transactions phasing out the old manual mode of payments and in line with the move towards a more cashless economy.

So far, two leading ministries have spearheaded the move to digitise its transactions using ANZ Bank’s web-based electronic platform called ANZ Transactive.

The most recent is the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts which joined the online platform yesterday, following suit to the economy ministry which joined last year.

According to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, they were looking at other ministries to “come on board” the online platform.

“We are looking at other ministries, there are more ministries that will need to come on board, but obviously there needs to be some internal arrangement within the ministries to get them on board,” he said.

The ministry’s new mode of payments was formalised yesterday through an agreement signed by Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and ANZ Fiji country head Saud Minam in Suva.

The new transition means that instead of the traditional manual method of processing cheques by the ministry to pay its vendors, suppliers and service providers, it will now transact payments through the online platform.

The move is in line with Government’s goal to channel 85 per cent of government payments through digital platforms by 2020, an initiative which ANZ Bank had been championing.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that the large ministry, with high levels and volumes of transactions on a daily basis, received about 150 transactions per day and processing on an average about 18 cheques per day.

These, he said, were to paying suppliers, RSL providers, giving grants to schools, higher education institutions, transfer allowance among other expenses.

“The ministry directly itself has about $535m allocated to it in the Budget. It also looks after the grants that are given to the various tertiary institutions including USP, FNU etc,” he said.

“What we have found unfortunately is that a number of transactions that the ministry of education does engage with on a daily basis, actually payments are made by way of cheques.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added the move would greatly enhance not just the efficiency of processing but brought about “huge cultural change” at the education ministry.



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