San José, Costa Rica – The President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, held a press conference on Wednesday the 29th of November 2023 during which the signing of the contract for the Adaptation, Configuration and Implementation of the Integrated Financial Administration and Human Resources System, signed between the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica and the FreeBalance-Computer Network Systems (CNS) Joint Venture, took place.

The FreeBalance-CNS Joint Venture (JV) will provide specialist government advisory and technical implementation services, underpinned by Freebalance’s unified government technology platform, to help the Government of Costa Rica create a new, citizen-centric, digital-by-design approach to transform its planning, budgeting, public expenditure, accounting, human resource management, reporting, and treasury functions.

The Integrated Financial Administration and Human Talent System, built on FreeBalance’s government-specific platform, will manage information in a single interoperable system with others internal and external to the Ministry of Finance. The system will manage a wide range of government finance functions, including Treasury, Budget, Public Credit, Accounting, Public Procurement, and the Technical Secretariat of the Budget Authority, as well as those of human potential of the entire public sector. This new approach will deliver substantive improvements in terms of efficiency, timeliness, transparency, accountability, accessibility of information and data analysis.

CNS Managing Director Munir-Uz-Zaman Chowdhury was honoured to be in attendance for both the contract signing and President Robles’ remarks at the press conference. After the press conference Mr Chowdhury commented that “The award of such an important international contract to a consortium containing a Bangladeshi company, Computer Network Systems Limited, as a JV member demonstrates that Bangladeshi expertise in the field of Government IT Delivery is now recognised worldwide”. Furthermore, Mr Chowdhury added that “CNS looks forward to providing the highest levels of service as we work with our valued and renowned partners at FreeBalance to deliver this crucial system”.

FreeBalance President and CEO Manuel Schiappa Pietra was also in attendance and commented “This transformative project delivers critical reforms and establishes a foundation for improved fiscal and societal outcomes for the citizens of Costa Rica”. Adding to the comments of Mr Chowdhury, Mr Pietra further stated that the implementation of the project was “an exciting new chapter in the FreeBalance-CNS partnership”.

The contract was awarded to the FreeBalance – Computer Network Systems JV for an amount of US$ 24.9 million, with an execution period of 150 weeks, which will begin 1 business day after signing, plus a one-year warranty. The FreeBalance – Computer Network System JV, like the other participants, underwent approval and appeal processes before the World Bank and the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR).

CNS and FreeBalance have collaborated since 2021, submitting a number of proposals to clients around the world and participating in joint working visits at different global locations. In addition to CNS visits to FreeBalance offices in Ottawa and Miami, FreeBalance has made two working visits to Dhaka where they met with CNS team members, visited existing CNS Bangladeshi clients, and toured The CNS Tower. CNS looks forward to working with FreeBalance to deliver this crucial project as we continue to strengthen our partnership.

The Left to right: President of Costa Rica Rodrigo Chaves Robles shakes hands with CNS Managing Director Munir-Uz-Zaman Chowdhury before the press conference at the Presidential Palace in Costa Rica.

Left to right: CNS Managing Director Munir-Uz-Zaman Chowdhury shakes hands with Costa Rican Finance Minister Nogui Acosta Jaén.