KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Government has been advised to continue with efforts to increase revenue through various sources and to adopt prudent spending, said the Auditor-General's Report 2018, the Federal Government's Financial Statements.
In its recommendation, the audit suggested for the Federal Government to reduce arrears in revenue and arrears in Recoverable Loans as well as make repayments/debts on a scheduled basis, to strengthen its financial position.
"The chief secretary of the ministry/department also needs to increase their hands-on involvement in financial matters.
"A check and balance system and regular evaluation of the work performed by the officers, including providing training to improve the skills and abilities of the officers," the audit said in a report released today.
In addition, the report also said the effectiveness of the Internal Audit Unit in the ministry/ department should be enhanced, including ensuring members of the unit receive adequate training and guidance.
They should also provide an annual audit plan so that the audit could be carried out accordingly.
It also needs to make objective and independent assessments, not only in terms of internal control but also matters concerning risks and governance of the organization, besides report significant findings and recommendations that impact the organisation.
According to the report, the federal government's financial position at end 2018 totalled RM232.883 billion, an increase of RM12.476 billion or 5.7 per cent from 2017.
The operating and development expenditure stood at RM287.055 billion, an increase of RM24.477 billion compared to 2017.
The Federal Government has a deficit of RM53.385 billion with a GDP deficit of 3.7 per cent.
The Federal Government also chalked up local and foreign loans totalling RM131.599 billion to finance development and repay debts.
The Federal Government debt amounted to RM741.049 billion with a debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 51.8 per cent.
The Federal Government has also guaranteed loans made by statutory bodies or companies totalling RM266.468 billion.
Expenditure due to the national debt (cost of borrowing and interest on loans) increased to RM30.547 billion in 2018.
The Federal Government's investment in deposits, securities and shareholdings of companies or statutory bodies or agencies stood at RM31.058 billion.
The Federal Government's Accounts Accrued (ABT) at the end of 2018 amounted to RM86.935 billion comprising Recoverable Loans And Recoverable Advances as well as various Accounts Accrued.
The report also stated that the overall amount of public debt and the government's financial commitment stood at RM 1.021 trillion. - Bernama
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