The government could save some RM200 million through immediate corrective actions in public fund leakages in several ministries and departments identified in the 2019 Auditor-General’s Report (Compliance Audit Report on Ministries and Federal Departments).
Auditor-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid said in one case, regular maintenance payments totalling RM3.47million were made for two police helicopters that have been inactive for over three years.
He said audits on the force and Home Ministry also found regular maintenance service payments were paid in excess, totalling RM105,875 at a cost of RM38,500 per month for 19 months.
“There should instead be a 25 percent reduction in maintenance payments for helicopters that have been inactive for over six months as stipulated in the contract.
“A total RM2.7 million was paid to replace photography equipment, 1,185 percent over the capped RM209,964 (budget for the purpose,” he said at a media briefing today.
He said corrective maintenance on the existing 467 photography equipment was not done as per the contract, while RM2.72 million was spent on 467 new photography kits.
Nik Azman said the report recommended that the ministry and police enforced the late penalty clause stipulated in the contract for the delay in delivery and supplies.
“The report also recommended that the agencies ensured that the officers in charge conduct detailed checks on the contract’s terms and conditions to avoid unnecessary payments.”
He said officers should also ensure that the contract’s terms are in accordance with the actual maintenance to protect the interest of the government and take action on companies or personnel found disregarding needs and directives by the department as stated by the law.
He said that there should be better coordination between government personnel disbursing the payments for procurement and those receiving the items.
“Sometimes, the person who undertakes the payment does not even have the agreement with him.”
He said this was the second time the department conducted compliance audits, with 11 government agencies and companies involved in the process done based on risk profiling, compared with three agencies done previously.
“The compliance report would allow the relevant agencies to carry out immediate measures including halting payments while the contracts were still active.
“It would be difficult to recover money made through payments that were already done, and it would involve court processes that would take a long time.”
The 140-page audit report, which was tabled today at the Dewan Rakyat, contains 23 recommendations to assist ministries and federal departments; as well as 50 recommendations on federal-level government companies to rectify identified weaknesses.
It is available for the public at www.audit.gov.my. – NST