KUCHING: Impartial and transparent investigations must be carried out into the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report’s findings of poor financial management and oversight in various Sarawak agencies, says Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian.
He said among the most serious issues cited by the report involved the state Housing Development Corporation (HDC), which reportedly paid RM2.88mil to two contractors for paint jobs which were not carried out.
The report also found that HDC made an advance payment of RM16.06mil for an upgrading project in Sibu without the necessary authorisation, resulting in the state government incurring interest charges of RM1.77mil.
On the paint jobs, HDC in its reply in the report said four of 12 units were repainted and a variation order had been issued to reduce the cost for the work that was not done.
HDC also said that the financing of the Sibu upgrading project was borne by a joint-venture company and subject to the company’s procurement policy.
Baru said these findings point to serious mismanagement issues and poor financial oversight.
“HDC is tasked with providing affordable housing for the rakyat, but it has seemingly been irresponsible with the state’s money and resources.
“What action is the government going to take as a result of the A-G’s Report? Someone has to be held responsible,” Baru told reporters here yesterday.
He also cited the report’s findings that the construction of the new wing of the Riverside Majestic Hotel under the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation was unsatisfactory and that the financial management of the Sarawak Museum and State Legislative Assembly was less than satisfactory.
“With the building of a new museum complex, it is crucial that financial transparency, accountability and competency be maintained without exception.
“The Chief Minister, with his strategic plans for the development of Sarawak including the proposed light rail transit and digital economy, all of which involve huge sums of money, must take steps to reassure the people that the management of the state is in good hands and that his initiatives will not suffer the same fate as these bodies named by the Auditor-General,” Baru added.
Did you find this article insightful?