11 ministries delayed signing contracts worth RM1.1 billion, says A-G’s Report

Auditor-General Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid.

KUALA LUMPUR: The auditor-general (A-G) says several ministries delayed signing government contracts with private companies for up to eight months last year.

Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid said in his 2018 report that the government had already issued offer letters to the relevant companies.

“Under the Treasury’s circular, contracts for supplies or services must be signed within four months after the offer letters were issued and agreed to by the companies.

“However, the report found that the signing of 37 contracts from 11 ministries amounting to RM1.1 billion was delayed,” he said.

The ministries that were late in signing the contracts include the agriculture and agro-based industry ministry, the transport ministry, the youth and sports ministry, the education ministry and the finance ministry.

Nik Azman said the agriculture and agro-based industry ministry had delayed signing five contracts worth up to RM926.05 million.

He added that the defence ministry had spent RM39,615 purchasing gift plaques without going through proper procedure.

“The Treasury circular says any purchase above RM20,000 needs to go through a committee for open tenders.

“Nine ministries, including Mindef, spent RM640,000 by purchasing items directly without going through the committee,” he said.

The A-G added that the international trade and industry ministry had made two payments of RM2 million without supporting documents for a program titled “Program Industry 4.0 Readiness”.

The program was conducted by Malaysia Productivity Corporation, a body set up to promote information and issues on productivity.

Nik Azman recommended that the relevant department chiefs and officers take preventive measures to ensure that such issues would not happen again.

“They need to be actively involved in managing the government’s finances,” he added.