A corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative was used to secure the government contract.
After reviewing the MySejahtera mobile app, the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today recommended that the Malaysian government takes over its development through the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).
PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said that the committee’s number one recommendation was also reviewing the propriety of awarding the MySejahtera application contract via direct negotiations made through a Cabinet decision dated November 26, 2021.
It also said that the appointment of KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd to develop the MySejahtera application did not follow procedures set by Putrajaya, and moving forward, the government needs to take a more prudent approach in all procurement processes.
“There were no minutes of meetings or supporting documents on the appointment of KPISoft, previously named Entomo.
“The only document in existence is a non-disclosure agreement signed by the National Security Council, on behalf of the government, and KPISoft,” he said in a statement today.
Wong said while the government had guaranteed that it owned the app, and its data would not be abused, KPISoft was the owner of MySejahtera’s intellectual property.
“The Cabinet’s decision to procure the app from the app developer goes to show that the app is, in principle, still owned by the developer,” he said.
The committee found that the appointment of KPISoft Sdn Bhd as the MySejahtera application developer in March 2020 was not organised and not in line with the public procurement procedure.
This was after the PAC found that a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative was used to secure a government contract without going through proper public procurement processes.
KPISoft Sdn Bhd, the developer of the MySejahtera application, allowed the government one year to use the app for free and then started to charge the government from April 2021 onward.
The report said the government was not clear in terms of KPISoft’s appointment, the concept of CSR, and the ownership of MySejahtera.
The PAC also found no document showing the one-year time frame set by KPISoft.
It said that although offers through CSR are welcome, the terms should be clearly stated, and should not be used as an alternative for direct negotiations.
“There are no documents stating that the CSR is only valid for a year. The government was apparently stuck and was forced to appoint MySJ Sdn Bhd through direct negotiations. The development and continuous use of the App should have continued to be a CSR effort.
The report also found that the Finance Ministry had placed RM196 million as the ceiling price for the procurement of MySejahtera for two years.
“The amount is deemed high, and in contradiction with the concept of CSR,” said Wong.
The report said the developer did suggest commercialising the app, but Wong noted that Putrajaya made the right call in rejecting this proposal to protect users’ private data.
As of April this year, the government had yet to register the intellectual property for the MySejahtera application on MyIPO, which may cause the application to be claimed for ownership by the developer.
The PAC recommended that the government ensure full ownership of the MySejahtera application, besides the need to guarantee the security of users’ personal data in the application and ensure that the data is not misused by any party.
“The government needs to continue efforts to make the MySejahtera application a national public health management tool in line with the digitalisation plan for health services,” said Wong in the report.
During the two sets of proceedings by the parliamentary committee on April 14 and 21, eight witnesses were summoned by the PAC.
The witnesses included health minister Khairy Jamaluddin, finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Treasury secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidon, as well as MOH secretary-general Datuk Harjeet Singh Hardev Singh.
Also called to testify were deputy secretary-general (finance and development) of the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Sollehuddin Alyubi Zakaria, Mampu director-general Datuk Seri Dr Yusof Ismail, NSC director-general Datuk Rodzi Md Saad, and National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) chief executive Rahamzan Hashim. – MMO