Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PAC wants MACC in on 'graft' in school projects

12:44PM Oct 14, 2014
Malaysiakini

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has proposed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigate alleged corruption in RM2 billion worth of security contracts for schools.

The proposal was made in the PAC's report today after its scrutiny of the Auditor-General's Report 2012 audit of the Education Ministry's project.

"The PAC suggests that the ministry view seriously accusations of corrupt practices and conduct a thorough investigation in the management of security contracts in these schools.

"PAC also suggests that MACC to conduct a separate investigation on this matter," the committee said in its report tabled in Parliament today.

The Auditor-General’s Report had revealed severe mishandling of RM2.051 billion with regard to hiring security contractors for schools between 2010 and 2012.

Among them included the hiring of unqualified security guards and the non-delivery of security equipment such as CCTV and alarm systems.

The audit team found that the Education Ministry was not keeping proper tabs on the implementation of the security project and failed to penalise errant contractors.

PAC fails to find elements of corruption

However, PAC chairperson Nur Jazlan Mohamed at a press conference in Parliament later today said his committee did not find any elements of corruption.

Nonetheless, he said it had suggested the MACC step in anyway as the matter involves large sums of money.

“The corruption allegation, if any, is also based on a report by The Star last year which alleged corrupt practices by certain companies,” he said.

Nur Jazlan said the PAC was satisfied with Education Minister II Idris Jusoh who testified before the committee on the matter and who was committed in rectifying the problem.

He added that the PAC also recommended that the auditor-general conduct a new audit of school security contracts within a year to suggest new improvements.

On a separate matter, Nur Jazlan said the committee also looked into the construction delay of the Sentul district police headquarters.

He said the building cost had sky-rocketed from RM60 million to RM83 million because of  design errors due to poor oversight by the Public Works Department (PWD).

“We suggest that the PWD conduct its own audit process on design and have its own consultants to ensure that the design meets specifications,” he said.

~ Malaysiakini

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