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Treasury Dept and DARe hold session on government payment process

Vendors and representatives of government agencies joined DARe’s dialogue session on government payment processes yesterday. Picture: BT/Zafirah Zaili

DARUSSALAM Enterprise (DARe), a statutory body that aims to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs), organised a focus group session yesterday to help vendors and government agencies understand the government payment process.

Maswadi Hj Mohsin, acting deputy accountant general at the Ministry of Finance’s Treasury Department, conducted the clinic where he emphasised that every purchase a government agency makes needs to be accompanied by a purchase order (PO) from theTreasury Accounting and Financial System (TAFIS).He said although a business regards the letter of reward it received as a confirmation of the purchase, a PO assures the vendor that the procurement has been entered into TAFIS and that the budget is allocated. This, he said, will expedite the payment process.

Ann Geronimo, a vendor present at the dialogue session, told The Brunei Times she always had issues with late payments from government agencies and that some of the unpaid orders date as far back as five years.

She said the session has helped shed some light on what needs to be done to make sure she gets paid on time.

“He (Maswadi) emphasised on getting the PO. This is something that we sometimes don’t obtain so hopefully now that we know the exact process, things will go more smoothly,” she said.

A participant who requested for anonymity appreciated DARe and the Treasury Department’s initiatives in making the process easier for them. He said most vendors have problems with late payment from the government. Such issue is crucial as SMEs are becoming more important as the sultanate is moving to diversify the economy.

“I hope that the relevant agencies will be conducting more sessions focused on different issues so that we can voice out what we are facing and learn what they can do to help us,” he said.

Maswadi also informed the attendees the Treasury Department has established clinic sessions for vendors who are seeking to get advice or lodge a complaint on their payment. Through the clinic sessions, vendors will be able to enquire on the status of their payment directly to the Treasury Department. The relevant ministries and departments will also be invited to join the session.

Courtesy: The Brunei Times