PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for the audit department’s role to be enhanced, and for the auditor-general to take on the role of an ombudsman.
Anwar, who is also finance minister, said the added responsibility would help ensure ministries and departments at both federal and state levels treat every reprimand and recommendations in the annual Auditor-General’s Report seriously.
“This is still under discussion but the important thing is, we want to expand the job scope of the department,” he told reporters after a meeting with the department’s management and staff today, Bernama reported.
Anwar also stressed the importance of audit, not just in financial matters but also in terms of ensuring compliance with regulations to prevent corruption, leakages, and negligence.
Anwar said that when he was finance minister from 1991 to 1998, he treated the Auditor-General’s Report as an important document and while he was opposition leader, he studied every page of the report in order to provide strong comments to the government.
“That is why, this year, as soon as the report is tabled, all ministers, secretaries-general and directors-general are required to study the report and give replies or take satisfactory action,” he said.
Anwar said the matter would be closely monitored by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Inland Revenue Board, the finance ministry and related enforcement agencies.
He also directed the finance ministry to ensure that all ministries and departments comply with the recommendations.
“If not, the recommendations would just be repeated every year,” he said.