Crying foul over findings

IT IS that time of the year again for public outrage over the Auditor-General’s (AG) Report.

While many Malaysians cry “corruption” over the 2012 report’s findings, this may be too grand a word to describe a more disconcerting pattern; one of negligence, apathy, and sometimes, a lack of common sense.

An example is Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) handling of its Computerised Maintenance Management System, a computer database meant to help manage maintenance work and reporting of contractors’ workmanship.

After spending a total of RM400,000 on the system between 2008 and 2012, the audit found that data on the system was either not keyed in or updated because “the officer in charge had no IT knowledge”.

UMS has since assured that a qualified officer has been put in charge earlier this year. These sort of oversights may not look like much on their own, but could add to millions of ringgit down the drain.

Murky issue

Aside from the issue of errant security firms supplying substandard guards to schools, the AG’s report also focused on the 1Malaysia Milk Programme (PS1M).

The original budget allocated for the programme was RM188.33mil to supply milk for all 3.1 million primary school pupils across the country.

However, this amount was later revised to RM170.93mil, where only those from rural areas and the urban poor will receive two boxes of milk every week.

Through direct negotiations, four contractors were appointed for the project — Hybrid Allied Sdn Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad, Konsuma Sdn Bhd and Sabah International Dairies Sdn Bhd.

by Priya Kulasagaran.

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