Staff reporter 

Finance minister Namgay Tshering launched the electronic Daily Allowance and Travel System (eDATS) in Thimphu yesterday.

The eDATS is an online travel authorisation and claims system of the government.

According to a press release from the finance ministry, eDATS will be rolled out for implementation to all the budgetary bodies with effect from July 1 this year.

“This is an important milestone towards strengthening the public financial management through the digitalisation of daily allowance and travel payment process,” the press release stated.

The implementation of eDATS is expected to bring several benefits.

First, it will have a reduced turnaround time in processing travel claims.  There will be uniformity in the application of rates and travel distances.  Double claims or payment will also be eliminated.

The eDATS will also minimise risks of fraud, corruption and rent-seeking opportunities while giving real-time reports for monitoring and decision-making purposes.  It will also support the overall government initiative of digitalisation.

With its implementation, eDATS is expected to greatly reduce administrative burden through paperless procedures and help to provide timely reports for monitoring and decision-making purposes.

eDATS is developed in-house by the finance ministry’s department of public accounts with the financial support under the multi-donor fund contributed by the European Union and Austrian Development Agency, and administered by the World Bank.