PAC to call up departments, ministries after A-G’s Report

Public Accounts Committee chairman Noraini Ahmad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Government agencies will be called to face the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) following reports by the auditor-general concerning cases of leakage in government funding, wastage as well as improper payments.

“PAC has identified a few issues involving government departments which can be called by the committee,” chairman Noraini Ahmad said in a press conference with Auditor-General (A-G) Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid here today.

She said Nik Azman had found seven cases involving improper payments worth RM38.73 million.

“The National Audit Department also found five cases of leakage involving RM1.764 billion, and six cases categorised as wasteful involving RM26.47 million,” she said.

Among the projects and programmes that PAC will be scrutinising are the programme for the socio-economic development of Malaysian Indians, the LPG subsidy payments by the finance ministry and customs department, foreign worker restrictions under the home ministry and human resources ministry, the emergency and trauma departments of four public hospitals in the Klang Valley, the construction of a sports school in Perlis, the education hub in Pagoh, Johor, and the National Film Association under the communications and multimedia ministry.

Noraini attributed the issues to weaknesses in project planning and aspects of payment, lack of organisation in contract management, outcomes that fall short of quality standards, and lack of monitoring.

She said PAC would be meeting to determine the manner of proceedings to be carried out after a briefing with the A-G.

“The committee will set a date for the proceedings, and we urge all chief secretaries to attend.

“If they cannot, they will need to present an official letter and propose a new date,” she said.

Nik Azman meanwhile said such issues occurred due to a general disregard for procedures and government rules.

“The rules are there but they are not being followed,” he said.

Regarding the emergency and trauma departments at the four hospitals, he said they were under-performing in their level of service.

“Even though there were no laws broken, I feel that this is an important service. PAC should call the ministry to provide an explanation,” he said.

The sports school project in Perlis meanwhile began in 2013 and was supposed to be completed within eight months. “But until now, it has not been completed.”

The Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Series 1 on the financial management and activities of federal and state companies of ministries, departments, agencies and statutory bodies was tabled in Parliament today.

Nik Azman said at the state level, 83 ministries, departments and agencies achieved an excellent level, followed by good (69), satisfactory (26), less satisfactory (13) and unsatisfactory (two).