The LGMA supports Financial Management Systems and services to assist local authorities in managing their significant annual budgets and to aid local authorities provide an on-line environment for their customers and suppliers.
The Financial Management system in use in thirty city and county councils and their associated town councils is the Agresso financial management system. The system provides services in relation to General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Purchasing, Stores, Bank Reconciliation, Integrated cash receipting, Billing (Housing Rents, Housing Loans, Rates, Water and Service Charges) and Reporting tools. In recent years, the majority of work in this area was focused on adding benefit to local authorities from the use of existing functionality and the delivery of new functionality.
EINVOICES – PEPPOL PROJECT
Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) recently launched a pilot project on e-Invoicing across a number of Government Departments and other public sector bodies. The project will be overseen by the National Procurement Service (NPS) of the OPW. The Institute of Technology in Sligo is providing research and technical co-ordination.
Speaking in Dublin at the launch of the pilot, Minister Hayes said:
"The pilot projects will take two months to complete. The objective after the pilot is to have a paperless billing system that operates across the public sector. That's good for business because it cuts down on red tape and cuts down on costs. The seven public sector bodies taking part in the pilot are: The Office of Public Works, the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice, HSE East, HSE North West, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Government Management Agency. Once the findings of the pilot projects have been compiled and reviewed, we will take a report to Government on the suitability of rolling out e-Invoicing across the entire public sector. The cost-saving benefits of this project could genuinely help SMEs to compete and win additional Government business".
The Minister concluded: "The full rollout of e-Invoicing could lead to multi-million euro savings for the exchequer in terms of reduced administrative and transactional costs, as well as providing savings to suppliers to the public sector. In addition Irish Service Providers in this area could become leaders in this technology across the EU Member States ".
The LGMA are part of this pilot and are using a company called eBox (ONE OF THE SEVEN Service Providers) to carry out the pilot project. The pilot will facilitate the receipt of electronic invoices by Local Authorities in the PEPPOL standard format and pass the data into the financial management system AGRESSO.
Each Local Authority can manage the suppliers who wish to send e‐invoices to them using this process.
The LGMA have developed a central service using Microsoft BizTalk for validating, enriching and routing the invoice data and eBox will provide a connection to this process.
Through this connection, invoice data sent to all Local Authorities can be received. The LGMA server can then route the local authority’s invoice data into the workflow within Agresso for processing.
Phase 1 of the project: the ability to receive electronic invoices from suppliers via the Service Provider (eBox) was successfully completed.
Phase 2 of the project: the ability to receive electronic invoices from suppliers via their own Service Provider and then into our Service Provider (eBox) is in progress.