The Indian Navy,in a first amongst all armed forces and departments of the Ministry of Defence, is switching to a completely online ERP based system for managing budgeting and expenditure activities in accordance with existing financial regulations. The FIS system is a powerful tool for effective management of the naval budget (both capital and revenue). The system provides a unified platform to bring together all organisations involved in budgetary estimation, allocation and expenditure of public money. Such online budgeting and expenditure activities will provide uniform and up to date information to all stake holders and also foster greater efficiency, consistency, transparency and accountability in activities related to financial management.
The control of the Navy’s budget, hitherto done manually, is exercised through Budget Centres at the IHQ MoD(Navy) (ie Naval Headquarters at New Delhi), Fund Controllers at Commands, intermediate budget holders and numerous ships and establishments of the Indian Navy widely dispersed across the country. The new FIS links the New Delhi based Naval Headquarters with the Command Headquarters, and further,various ships and establishments across different locations in the country and provides a central database to view data on allocation and reallocation of funds, receipts and recoveries, commitments, expenditure and estimates.
With over 600 units involved with a budget being managed across more than500 ‘code heads’ (categories), the switch to online budget management brings a transformational change in efficiency, accuracy and transparency. The transition from the predominantly manual system of budget management to online transactions will reduce the delays and efforts involved in data collation and reporting, inherent in any manual system. System driven processes complying with existing fiscal regulations and built in checks, will ensure compliance by all users. The system will also assist in the standardisation of forms and reports across the organisation and provide consistent and up-to-date information on demand to the users with enhanced transparency.This endeavour gains particular relevance in the on-going government to shift to e-governance to enable optimal utilisation of funds with complete probity and transparency.
The SAP based solution configured and custom developed for the Indian Navy by M/s WIPRO has layered information security provisions on the network, application and database and comprehensive training is being provided to all users for transition to the new system.
The system rides on a server farm set up in New Delhi, with Navy-wide connectivity being provided through the naval intranet. Some of the key benefits of the system are single source of budget information across the organization ensuring data integrity and consistency; automated controls with built-in checks as per existing fiscal rules and regulations; easy availability of statistical and historical data for efficient decision making and total transparency for higher levels of hierarchy.
The system, developed over a period of 22 months involved about 1000 man months of effort by 60 members from the Indian Navy and WIPRO.