The Commonwealth Secretariat’s new public debt management system, Commonwealth Meridian designed to manage sovereign debt will replace the Commonwealth’s flagship software tool CS-DRMS, which is currently used by more than 60countries. The Government of The Gambia, has been selected as one of the early adopters of the new system following the handover of the system by the developers in January 2019.
The system which is web based has enhanced functionalities to manage critical public debt portfolios such as borrowing, lending, contingent liabilities and financial derivatives. Commonwealth Meridian is a comprehensive solution that promotes effective and pro-active public debt management it fosters accountability and transparency through data driven workflow and is organised around a central repository of data from which key stakeholders can access at real time.
A 2-member team from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Debt Management Unit carried out a mission during the period 11-15 March 2019 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MofEA) to commence the groundwork for the implementation of the new system. Pamella McLaren, Head of the Debt Management Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat said she has high expectations that the system will be the centrepiece to support effective public debt management in The Gambia.
Mac Banda, IT Systems, Team Leader at the Commonwealth Secretariat made a presentation of the system to policy makers who are impressed with the features of the system and are looking forward to using the system to inform debt management decisions to promote debt sustainability.
Ebrima Darboe, Director of Loans and Debt Management of the Ministry said the mission could not have come at a better time considering the challenges faced with not only outdated but limited functionality in the current version of CS-DRMS currently in use at the Ministry to record and manage the public debt portfolio. The new debt recording system will effectively enhance Public Financial Management and analysis.