Director Lorna D. Cabochan of the Commission’s Information and Technology Office joined a Philippine delegation to Kenya to study the country’s successful experience in shifting government financial transactions from cash to electronic payments.
The other members of the delegation were Budget Undersecretary Richard Moya, Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Lilia Guillermo, Science and Technology Director Dennis Villorente, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Dan Miller and USAID Project Management Specialist Ma. Theresa Espenilla.
The study visit, from August 27-31, 2013, was sponsored by USAID and the Better-Than-Cash Alliance (BTCA), a project that aims to shift government financial transactions from cash to electronic form to promote transparency. The Philippines and Kenya are pioneering members of the BTCA.
A series of presentations were conducted by the agencies of the Kenya Ministry of Finance headed by Economic Secretary Dr. Geoffrey Mwau. The delegates were briefed on Kenya’s key projects such as Electronic Single Window System, Hunger Safety Nets Programme, Social Cash Transfers Programme, and M-Pesa which is a money transfer system operated by Kenya’s largest cellular phone provider. Delegates were also given a chance to witness the actual processing of transactions using M-Pesa outside Nairobi where they interviewed a store owner/distributor of local beer.
A presentation by the Kenya National Audit Office on the challenges of the audit of government electronic payments culminated the three-day visit. During the discussion, Director Cabochan shared COA’s audit approach, the Integrated Result and Risk-Based Audit (IRRBA) and its automated version, the Integrated Result and Risk Based Audit Software (IRRBAS). Dr. Mwau expressed his interest on the IRRBA and IRRBAS saying that this will definitely be on their agenda when they visit the Philippines.