PETALING JAYA: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) is calling for a revision of direct negotiation policies for government procurement.
It said today that direct negotiation did not adequately address issues of corruption and mismanagement, adding that the yet-to-be-tabled Government Procurement Bill offered an opportunity to do so.
It said this in releasing a paper on Improving Direct Negotiation Rules in Malaysia: Learning from Current Practices and International Laws.
In a statement accompanying its release, IDEAS, said that while current rules governing direct negotiation included measures aimed at ensuring contracts were delivered with accountability, achieved value for money and fostered fair competition, they lacked transparency requirements.
IDEAS listed recommendations that included the revision of current policies, the adoption of “competitive negotiation” as an alternative to direct negotiation and the clear separation of bureaucrats and politicians in procurement exercises.
In addition, it called for a review system to be included in the upcoming Government Procurement Bill.
IDEAS CEO Tricia Yeoh said the paper was part of IDEAS’ initiative to contribute to the government’s plan to introduce procurement legislation by 2023, as mandated by the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2020”
“Direct negotiation is a necessary procurement method to address the needs for expedited service delivery.
“However, the gaps in the current rules create loopholes that can be exploited by individuals in positions of power for their advantage.”
An analysis it conducted on direct negotiation projects in the auditor-general’s reports from 2014-2018 showed that existing rules were not implemented well.
IDEAS identified multiple violations of rules in the approval process, qualification of contractors, and the negotiation process.
It also reiterated its call to publish information about direct negotiations before and after the procurement exercise.