KOTA KINABALU: Only 45.9% of the quota for general welfare assistance was disbursed by the Sabah General Welfare Services Department last year, according to the Auditor-General’s Report.
“The assistance given under the general assistance scheme was not enough as only 46.5% and 45.9% of the quota was approved in 2015 and 2016 respectively compared with qualified applications,” says the second series of the report released yesterday.
The report also gives feedback on the lack of guidelines, and approval of assistance for applications that did not meet certain conditions.
“From 1,004 applications, the committee concerned approved 161 (16%) which had not been verified by the divisional assistant director or district welfare officer on the application forms.
“Also, two of the three committees concerned did not hold meetings according to the prescribed frequency.
“There were also no clear and specific guidelines on methods of self-reporting.”
The report has given several recommendations to ensure more efficient management of the general assistance scheme.
“The department should reconsider the quota set so that it is in line with applications and consider giving the level of assistance that can benefit more qualified applications,” it says.
“Clear and comprehensive guidelines and rules should be created to ensure a proper level of assistance is approved or paid out.
“The department should re-look at its self-reporting methods by, for example, using a fingerprint scanning application in the eSBK system (Online Welfare Assistance Management System) to ensure a more effective self-reporting mechanism.”
According to the report, the scheme provides a 12-month relief to needy individuals and their family members, which may be extended for another 12 months if the recipients still qualify.