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Outstanding ROI on extensions to core financial systems

PGAS, the bespoke accounting system of the PNG Department of Finance is upgraded to operate in today’s server environments and continues to achieve substantial ROI and value creation as it passes more than 20 years of productive life.

Business need

The Department of Finance has operated a bespoke accounting system (PGAS - PNG Government Accounting System) for over 20 years, using Multibase’s CL4 language and database. PGAS includes a Budgeting System, General Ledger System, and Payroll System. Originally deployed on NCR Tower servers with Unix System 5, PGAS was later implemented in 20 provincial sites and 39 national government department sites using SCO OpenServer Enterprise system. Over time this PC server and serial device technology became obsolete, and the Department decided to move PGAS from its legacy SCO OpenServer operating system to Red Hat Linux.

Key challenges

  • Communications.
  • Remote and often technically difficult locations in which PGAS is deployed.
  • Ensuring that all required hardware and OS environments are in place.
  • Providing as much automation as possible to enable very simple installation of CL4 and PGAS onto new servers.
  • Integration remotely of peripherals such as network printing and CD drives.


Multibase developed CDs which contain RPM (Redhat Package Manager) software packages on RedHat Enterprise Linux 4 with interactive scripts to run the CD on each server to be upgraded. These contained CL4 (the application technology and database), and the applications in two versions.  The scripts run the overall upgrade process, including detection of the correct PGAS version to install, and identification from backup CDs to be created by the PNG server administrator of user information, databases and printer configurations for each server, for transfer to each new server.


PGAS is upgraded successfully and continues to provide financial services for PNG. Confidence in the system and return on investment is such that the Department decides to make further upgrades to the system.

Customer information

The Department of Finance supports the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its economic and investment objectives by providing prudent management of the economy.