An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Public Financial Management System being used by Government Departments in Zimbabwe. (2000 – 2011)

Donnelie K Muzividzi


The study sought to assess the effectiveness of the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) in financial planning, controlling and monitoring of public funds in government line ministries in Zimbabwe. The study was largely prompted by the fact that despite having professionalized it functions and putting in place a system of responsibility accounting system in 2003, the ministries were still facing a lot of challenges. The primary research (literature review) revealed features required for an effective monitoring, controlling and planning of public funds. It was emphasized that the government should be accountable on the use of public funds. The study was understood in the realism paradigm and employed both qualitative and quantitative (triangulation) methods of data collection. Exploratory study was chosen for this study in as far as it explored to find out the effectiveness of PFMS in government line ministries. Exploratory was useful in clarifying the understanding of the problem, especially when the researcher was not sure of the precise nature of the problem. The target population for the study were all employees who held management  positions and a sample of 70 employees from the government line ministries was used. Systematic sampling (probability sampling) and purposive or judgemental sampling (non-probability sampling) were used in this study. The research employed questionnaires and observations as instruments for gathering data.The researcher revealed that the PFMS is able to produce budgets from the budget proposal up to the final document. The system has effective internal controls with an exception on payment procedures and production of reconciliation statement. The end users are not adequately trained to use the system.Based on the findings of the study and conclusion the researcher makes the following recommendations: the system needs reliable internal control monitoring on payment procedures. The officers need to be trained on how to use the PFMS in the production of reconciliation statement. The training period of the PFMS need to be increased from 8 to 12 hours. Most respondents pointed out that they were not adequately trained to use the system. The study recommends more intensive training of officers in the application of PFMS.

Key words: Budget, Public Finance Management System, Internal Controls

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