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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Transparency key for govt procurement, not tenders alone, say graft fighters


Addressing civil servants on Tuesday, Anwar Ibrahim said the government’s procurement process could no longer be conducted without issuing tenders. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Two anti-corruption groups have welcomed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s order for all government procurements to be carried out by tender, but stress that more must be done to ensure transparency.

In his first address to civil servants yesterday, Anwar said the government’s procurement process could no longer be conducted without issuing tenders so as to deter corruption and leakages.

Muhammad Mohan.

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Muhammad Mohan called this a good move to level the playing field and promote transparency, competitive bidding and good governance, but said further measures were needed to mitigate corruption.

“After the procurement is completed by a proper tender process, the execution of the projects is crucial.

“The projects must be implemented and completed in a timely manner and within the budget, with close monitoring of milestones and prompt action taken should issues arise,” he told FMT.

He said it was also crucial to hold accountable those overseeing the projects should there be any leakage of funds.

Cynthia Gabriel.

Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel deemed the government’s procurement as among the most vulnerable to corruption, with about 42.8% of complaints to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission having to do with the process.

She urged Anwar to enact a law for independent access to information and set up a public service ombudsman panel as long-term measures to ensure transparency in government procurements.

“This will allow complaints to be received in real time and issues in procurement to be rectified promptly,” she said. - FMT

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