BNB TO INVEST BGN8.9MN IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES
Till 2007 the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) should set up an unified information system, including all spheres of its operation. For that purpose in the autumn of 2001 the central bank's Management Board assigned to the consulting company KPMGto work out an overall strategy for the development of the bank's informationa technologies. The first stage of the project was completed in the beginning of 2002 and an scheme for the establishment of the overall information system was worked out.By mid-April KPMG will conclude the second stage of the project as well. The company will present to BNB's Management Board a report, projecting measures for improvement of the financial institution's technological systems and increase of the degree of BNB's information security. The document includes a proposal for restructuring of the bank's Informatics and Communications Department. Establishment of an unit for development and management of the big projects has been proposed. It will entirely undertake the planning and implementation of large-scale technological projects at the central bank, such as the real time gross settlement system (RTGS). The system's testing has been planned for May, and it is expected to be officially commissioned in mid-September. After that it will be operating for a month under the supervision of the US Montran - the company which installed it.Several projects of the same scale are planned for the next five years. Among them is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), the setting up of an integrated bank system and of a common store for database. According to bank experts, investments in such projects may exceed EUR2MN.The central bank has earmarked BGN3.5MN for investment in the development of its info systems in 2002. Together with the big technological projects BNB's total investments will exceed BGN8.9MN this year. From them BGN5.9MN will go for purchase and maintenance of software, and BGN3MN - for hardware.Some ten days ago the BNB signed a Memorandum on strategic cooperation with Oracle - a leading US computer company and the biggest producer of software for data storage. The two-year agreement projects introduction of Oracle's products as one of the strategic platforms for the development of BNB's info systems.