KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM18.91mil has been distributed to 49 non-governmental organisations (NGO), even though the organisations did not fulfil the necessary criteria set by the Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (Sedic), the 2018 Auditor-General's Report states.
"A further audit found that there is no evidence of acknowledgement by the chairman of the Cabinet Committee for Indian Community (CCIC) for all the NGOs, except for certification from the programme's evaluation committee and the prime minister," said the report.
The audit report also found many instances of non-compliance in the process to evaluate the NGOs to determine if there are conflicts of personal interest, and to see if the organisations are truly qualified.
In response, the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) said that it has identified all 49 NGOs that received the allocation and added that RM2.11mil has yet to be returned.
Mitra said reminder letters have been issued to all the NGOs, adding that a total of 14 out of 49 NGOs have returned their allocations, totalling RM340,000.
It added that all NGOs that fail to return their allocation from the fund will be blacklisted.
The report also noted that a total of 20 individual files for 23 NGOs with an allocation worth RM10.77mil for the year of 2014 was not submitted to Sedic for audit purposes.
It also found that there was non-compliance on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), where five NGOs and one private skills training institute (ILKS) did not return the extra RM2.86mil and another 35 NGOs and four ILKS did not open separate accounts.
The report also stated that another six programmes worth RM2.93mil, involving six NGOs were implemented by third parties and RM1.18mil was paid to a third party even before the programme started.
In response, Mitra proposed a separate and independent monitoring unit in its evaluation and approval of grants in order to avoid the issue of conflict of interest.
The audit report recommended that Mitra set up a complete and updated database so it could improve its monitoring mechanism, the effectiveness and the outcome of the programme.
It added that Mitra must also blacklist NGOs that did not implement its programmes and failed to adhere to its standard operating procedures.