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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 8:33:42 AM
by razak ahmad AND sira habibu
PETALING JAYA: The Auditor-General has taken to task senior civil servants who fail to initiate internal investigations even after suspecting something fishy in the spending by their departments and agencies.
Tan Sri Ambrin Buang (pic) said he expected immediate corrective action to be taken by department and agency heads once they have been alerted by the National Audit Department.
“These heads can initiate their own investigations if they suspect something amiss, based on our report. In fact some do and some don’t,” he told The Star.
Ambrin said another issue was whether the punitive actions taken against those who breached regulations as highlighted in previous audits were adequate.
“If the offenders were merely given verbal warnings instead of written warnings, it would imply that they will not suffer in terms of their increments, promotions and so on.”
Ambrin said corrective action undertaken by department heads was acknowledged appropriately in the annual audit reports.
“We also expect punitive action to be taken in serious cases which caused losses to the Government, such as improper payments, falsification, fraud and criminal breach of trust,” said Ambrin, who added that heads of departments and agencies must respond “faster and firmer” to recommendations in the report due to increasing public expectation for accountability.
While agencies should do more to address their weaknesses, Ambrin said the public should not simply perceive that every issue raised in the audit necessarily involves fraud or corruption.
“Expecting the Audit Report to be free from any observation of irregularities or weaknesses is also unrealistic,” he said.
On whether the Government should convene the proposed “Putrajaya Inquisition” to clear all unresolved issues in previous Auditor-General reports, Ambrin said his department was still studying the matter, and would call for such a session if warranted.
Tomorrow: Q&A with the A-G
Tags / Keywords:
Government, Parliament, Government, Auditor-General’s Report 2012
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