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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parliament to probe ‘irregularities’ in audit report


Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will begin investigating 10 ‘irregularities’ highlighted by the 2009 Auditor-General’s report starting next month.

A source told The Malaysian Insider today that the committee with begin its review of the government audit by calling up “relevant” parties in the third week of November.

“As far as we were briefed today, there are ten cases will have been brought to our attention to be reviewed, that demands the committee’s immediate attention...so it will start on the third week of November, and we will take it from there,” the source told The Malaysian Insider.

The source, however, refused to say which parties or ministries would be called up next month.

The Malaysian Insider understands that among the 10 cases which will be investigated by the PAC for “discrepancies” is the report’s findings on 67 cases across 31 projects in six ministries where RM753,723 was paid but the economic stimulus package procurements were not delivered or received at all.

The report also discovered cases of under-delivery such as plywood doors being installed at a clinic in Menalun, Sarawak when HW Timber Solid Doors were ordered and PVC cisterns replacing TS39 Porcelain China models at the same clinic.

Projects include the upgrading and restoration of police stations, restoration of hospital and clinic amenities, renovation of customs offices and the Graduate Employment Management Scheme (GEMS).

However, some 38 cases worth RM580,983 were delivered following reminders by the AG.

The report also found 64 cases worth RM1.27 million involving eight ministries where the quality was less than satisfactory and 78 cases worth RM3.74 million that were not completed to specification but were still paid in full.

It was noted, however, that remedial action was taken in 27 of the cases following reminders from the auditors.

These include water flooding the floor of the SJKC Chung Kuang in Seberang Prai Selatan, Penang after new tiles were laid and the uneven and patchy school field at SK Monfort in Batu Pahat, Johor after upgrading works.

Other than that, the PAC is also expected to investigate food suppliers in different primary schools throughout the country who were caught supplying food way below the quality of the recommended menu for the Additional Food Programme (RMT) designed for schoolchildren by the government.

“After the feedback from the dietician in the Health Ministry’s nutrition department, we found that food from the menu provided can cause the schoolchildren to suffer from malnutrition,” said the Auditor-General’s report.

The report also noted that six other outsourced school food suppliers have been caught providing food completely different from the recommended menu in the RMT programme.

The Additional Food Programme was started 30 years ago to give underprivileged children free food, at a value of RM1.80 (in Peninsular Malaysia) and RM2.05 (in Sabah and Sarawak), to supplement their daily diet.

“You can say that many of the items which will be reviewed by the committee have also highlighted in press reports,” added the source.

The high-powered PAC is made up of Barisan Nasional (BN) as well as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers and is headed by its chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmi Khalid - Malaysian Insider

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