The Finance Ministry is planning an online platform, as part of the projects co-funded by the Next Generation EU fund, that will monitor the finances of the central administration as well as those of all general government entities and their assets in real time.
“Had we registered the cash available at those entities 11 years ago we would have avoided the tough measures that came with the first bailout [in 2010] as well as all the others,” says a senior ministry official. He noted that it was only at the last moment that the country managed to cover its fiscal gaps or make the primary budget surplus targets thanks to other surpluses, such as those at the social security funds.
In fact, the state still doesn’t have a full picture of the assets and financial activities of its various entities – they are obliged to keep an account at the Bank of Greece and only have 5% of their liquidity at commercial lenders, and that helps keep the central state mechanism aware of their cash position, though not their real estate assets or their obligations.
The new online platform will have full access to the procurements of entities and the central administration, the parties involved in transactions and the stage of execution of contracts and procurements. This will effectively put an end to public money being wasted and avoid the creation of new expired debts.
The platform will allow the State General Accounting Office to better distribute state cash to each entity, and stop the horizontal reduction of operating expenses that was employed to plug the budget holes mainly in the 2010s and the bailout period, resulting in several state corporations facing considerable problems.
Sources say the government will ask all entities as well as the ministries to implement a full registration of their equipment, running contracts and orders under way, as well as all assets, including real estate properties.
The Gov-ERP project, titled “Reform of the Fiscal System in Central Administration and the Rest of General Government,” has a budget of 51.5 million euros.