Education Ministry ‘mismanaged’ 1BestariNet project

The Education Ministry mismanaged the RM4 billion 1BestariNet e-learning project for schools nationwide, says the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The Parliament-bound action group also said the reasons given by the ministry during the probe over the project were “unacceptable” and clearly showed contract mismanagement.

“The issue which was raised was from weakness in contract management,” PAC said in a report on the 1BestariNet project. The report was tabled to the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

“The PAC cannot accept the reason submitted by the Education Ministry that it was not aware of the government’s value management lab circular.”

The report was referring to an Economic Planning Unit (EPU) 2009 circular that made it mandatory for projects worth RM50 million and above to go through a “value management process”.

The 1BestariNet project did not go through that process, according to the report.

The PAC is also recommending the Auditor General’s (A-G’s) Department to conduct a follow-up audit on the entire project.

“PAC has decided that the A-G’s Department (is) to carry out a thorough follow-up audit related to the matters raised, and to carry out rectification as there are a lot of doubtful expenditures.

“A study on the effectiveness in implementing the 1BestariNet project should also be conducted,” the committee said, adding that further scrutiny should be given in order to “protect importance of the government”.

The PAC, headed by Rompin MP Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin, will also visit all schools that are involved in the project.

The 1BestariNet project is a RM4 billion project to be implemented in phases for 15 years