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Monitor cyber threat, bring all departments on e-bill platform, Somanathan tells pay and accounts officers

Somanathan said bill payment efficiency has been taken up as a top priority item by the CGA as a result of which the efficiency has substantially improved.
Last Updated 01 March 2024, 10:49 IST

New Delhi: Finance Secretary T V Somanathan on Friday asked pay and accounts (P&A) officers to make efforts to bring all government departments on the e-bill platform and also constantly monitor cyber security threats to India's payment and accounting network.

Addressing the officers of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and the Indian Civil Accounts Organisation (ICAO) on the 48th Civil Accounts Day, Somanathan said bill payment efficiency has been taken up as a top priority item by the CGA as a result of which the efficiency has substantially improved.

"More than 450 Pay and Accounts Offices have been onboarded on the e-bill module... I would like you to move towards complete end-to-end implementation of e-bill system in the government of India so that this (payment efficiency) can be improved further," Somanathan said.

The e-bill processing system was launched on March 2, 2022. It is being implemented across all central ministries and departments, which enables suppliers and contractors to submit their claim online, and track them on a real time basis.

He said pay and accounts officers should monitor instances of delays and wherever delay occurs should be examined for corrective actions.

"As we contemplate the future, there is an ongoing requirement for monitoring cyber security. The country faces increasing cyber security threat at all levels and we cannot afford to drop our guard. These tasks and others will persist," Somanathan said.

He said there was a consensus on the need to restructure the Civil Accounts Service cadre.

"Necessary manpower strengthening is being implemented to enhance efficiency of both Public Financial Management System (PFMS) and CGA organisation. A total of 76 posts have been converted from temporary to permanent... This is a positive step towards ensuring seamless operation of service and organisation," said the secretary, who heads the expenditure department in the finance ministry.

Prior to the launch of the e-bill system, vendors or contractors were required to submit physical copies of bills to the departments for scrutiny. With the e-bill initiative, claimants would be able to submit digitally signed bills on the PFMS and check status without approaching offices.

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(Published 01 March 2024, 10:49 IST)

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