Govt won’t waste on inefficient programmes

Effective governance in the public sector encourages efficient use of resources and effective service delivery

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by BERNAMA

THE government introduced zero-based budgeting to take funds away from inefficient programmes and channel the money to initiatives that work and prevent abuses in the procurement process, said Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (picture).

The deputy prime minister said every project is now scrutinised and put through proper bidding and procurement process to ensure only the correct project is built by the right people with the right quality and price, as well as completed on time.

“We believe that effective governance in the public sector encourages efficient use of resources and effective service delivery.

“A government which practises good governance in their delivery of service will gain trust from the stakeholders and the public,” she said at the 5th Summit of Asean Supreme Audit Institutions (Aseansai) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the minister for women, family and community development said a Cabinet Committee on AntiCorruption which is chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was set up to determine a policy that could strengthen governance, integrity and anticorruption measures in government management systems.

She said according to data from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission from 2013 to 2018, more than 60% of corruption cases involved the public service sector and almost 42% of cases were related to procurement.

“I understand that the National Audit Department of Malaysia as one of the members of the Committee has been working closely with the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre, to come out with proposals to tighten rules and regulations relating to procurement,” she added.

On the roles of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), she said it is to provide assurance and credible information to stakeholders in the interest of public through auditing works.

Besides highlighting non-compliances of procedures and regulations and weaknesses of the auditee, she said SAIs need to monitor and undertake follow-up activities to ensure appropriate actions are taken by the auditees.

“The design of capacity building offered to the member of Aseansai would contribute to the achievement of Aseansai’s objectives.

“With the continuous support from the 10 supreme audit institutions, I am confident that Aseansai would be able to become a model for other regional groups like African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions and Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions,” said Dr Wan Azizah.

Besides Malaysia, other Aseansai members are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

She said auditors should equip themselves with skills and expertise to adapt to the new technologies that will emerge along with Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).

She said Asean countries, including Malaysia, are experiencing industrial transformation and revolution which will require new and advanced skills.

“Therefore, there is a higher need to prepare employees, including auditors to be equipped with knowledge and skills of new technologies and embrace IR4.0,” said Dr Wan Azizah.

Dr Wan Azizah said digital technologies, particularly mobile Internet, big data, cloud technology, the Internet of Things, the automation of knowledge and the social-mobile-analytics-cloud could potentially unleash up to US$625 billion (RM2.59 trillion) which is 8% of Asean’s projected GDP.

She said the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity 2025 identifies education, e-commerce, payment solutions and cloud-based technologies as areas where Asean could be at the forefront of change, instead of simply utilising existing technologies.

“In view of IR4.0 and the extensive use of information technology (IT) in government, auditors are now required to know and utilise technology in carrying out their audit tasks.

“Tools required in the audit process refer to generalised audit software, sampling tools and also the use of IT specialists,” she said, adding that these tools will enhance audit works and assist auditors to provide reliable findings and derive effective judgements.