Monday, June 15, 2015

PAC to get Ambrin's 1MDB audit soon

2:38PM Jun 15, 2015
By Koh Jun Lin
The National Audit Department is prepared to present the preliminary findings on its audit of 1MDB to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

PAC chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed said this was conveyed by the auditor-general Ambrin Buang and a date to table the interim report is currently being set.

"He (is supposed to be) ready by the end of the month. When we will consider (his report)? We will decide (later)," he told reporters at a press conference today.

Ambrin had been directed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak toprobe 1MDB amid controversy about its RM42 billion debt.

The auditor-general had previously said that an interim report would be ready by the end of June.

'We spoke too soon'

Nur Jazlan said the report will not be made public because it is only a preliminary report, but the PAC will take its findings into account in its own investigation on 1MDB.

Earlier today, the PAC had also received a briefing from the Ambrin and his department on the findings in the second series of the Auditor-General's Report 2014.

Nur Jazlan said after hearing the briefing, he is retracting his earlier statements that the government’s performance is on the mend.

"A year ago I had said the PAC is increasingly satisfied with the government’s (financial) management including the departments and ministries, but it looks like we would have to retract it.

"We were shocked too just now when we saw the auditor-general's report, especially (on) the universities," he said.

He said it is saddening that although public universities are being given autonomy, the universities are making mistakes that could have been avoided, namely non-compliance to financial procedures.

"But the important thing is that attention in will be given to department or ministries like this to give them the message: We are watching you," he added.

Many agencies to be probed

The Pulai MP said the PAC will beginning summoning witnesses to testify on the latest audit report in September, which would include the Universiti Pertahanan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and several others.

Also to be summoned are agriculture ministry and the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority over irregularities in separate aquaculture projects run by the two bodies, the Prime Minister’s Department over improper payments made for the maintenance of the Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (APMM) patrol boats in Sabah, and the Finance Ministry’s Hotel Sri Malaysia over its management issues, among others.

The committee will also be investigating the maintenance budgets of all the government's assets.

"We find that the government buys a lot of things, and the longer these things are kept, the more costly it is to maintain.

"But what is actually happening is that the longer the life of an asset, the less the government budgets for its maintenance.

"This makes the equipment old, could no longer be used, and have to be disposed of," he said.

Nur Jazlan also urged state-level PACs to play their part in ensuring good governance by investigating local governments and state-linked companies, in which the auditor-general had highlighted issues but the federal PAC has no jurisdiction over.
 
~ Malaysiakini

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