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Friday, October 29, 2010

More dirt from Auditor's report - this time from PM's backyard


KUALA LUMPUR - As if opening up a Pandora's box, the recently released Auditor-General's Report continues to expose instances of wastages and mismanagement in government finance.

An online portal today reported that among others, the audit report noted that a polytechnic school project in Pekan remained derailed for more than a decade with its cost escalating by 34.6 percent from the original budget.

“The project to develop Politeknik Muadzam Shah is yet to complete for the last 10 years, and today the cost has increased by RM76.74 million, a 34.6 percent increase from the initial cost,” reports Merdeka Review.

Pekan is the parliamentary constituency of prime minister Najib Razak.

The portal also said the project had changed hands from the Education ministry to the Higher Education ministry in 2004, and had been scheduled for completion in September 2003.

“RM294.74 million had been spent on the project compared to the original cost of RM219 million,” the report noted.

Due to delay, the government has been forced to own up the renting cost for tutorial area amounting to RM2,500 a month, totalling some RM130,000 up to December last year, according to the audit report.

Students intake was also affected, between 64 to 347 persons, a far cry from the initial plan to admit 5,000 students.

“The Audit views that the performance and financial position of a company should be the basis of the selection of contractors and subcontractors for the Government to implement the project so that it runs smoothly and does not bring losses to the government in the end,” added Merdeka Review, and said the relevant ministry and the Public Works Department (JKR) must undertake a study to ensure the project was completed according to schedule.

On a related matter, PAS's Shah Alam member of parliament Khalid Samad (right) proposed that a new act be effected in any agreements between the Works ministry and contractors, so that in the event the latter failed to deliver, the Public Works Department (JKR) could take over.

Giving examples during question time in parliament today of how some projects in his constituency had been abandoned due to problems with contractors, Khalid lamented the inaction on the part of JKR.

"In the case of the Shah Alam hospital, is there not an agreement to give the ministry the powers take over the project and act quickly to avoid any delay?

"The Minister said the work had stopped since August but I have visited the construction site and discovered the work stopped in June. The Minister said it needed 30 months to complete," said Khalid. - Harakahdaily

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