State govt entities give statements to Sabah PAC over A-G's 2018 Report

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Seven state government entities were summoned to give statements on unresolved issues from the Auditor-General’s 2018 report, says Sabah Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Sabah PAC chairman Datuk Abidin Madingkir on Tuesday (Feb 18) said representatives from three ministries, departments or agencies were also called up to give statements on their financial management (accountability index) for 2018 which recorded unsatisfactory rankings.

“The first state PAC meeting which started yesterday (Feb 17) until today started with a briefing by national audit Sabah director (Patimah Ramuji) on the report on the state government finances and financial performance in 2018.

“It was then followed up with summoning the seven government entities with six topics on unresolved issues.

"They are the Sabah Fisheries Department for the seaweed cluster project, Perbadanan Baitulmal Negeri Sabah (PBNS) Holdings Sdn Bhd for its company management and Veterinary Services Department for management of animal slaughtering houses.

“The others are Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) for management of swiftlets’ nest harvesting activities, Sabah Railway Department for the state’s train service management, and the state Rural Development Ministry and State Land Development Board for the Mini Estate Sejahtera (Mesej) programme for oil palm planting, ” he told reporters after the closed-door meeting.

Abidin, however, added that one of the topics namely company management of PBNS Holdings was not discussed during this meeting and will be carried forward to the next meeting, due to the absence of the main officer from the agency.

“We view things seriously and we want to listen to the responses from heads or departments and agencies.

“Maybe there was a miscommunication and the one who came from Baitulmah was not a senior officer, so we will summon them again for the next meeting, ” he said.

On the three entities which recorded less than three stars out of five stars ranking in their accountability index, Abidin said they were the state Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry which recorded one star (not satisfactory), and Putatan district office and Sabah Islamic Affairs Department (Jheains) which respectively achieved two stars (less satisfactory).

“Jheans will be summoned back as they did not bring proof or evidence on issues raised by the committee, ” he added.

Abidin, however, said in general, he was satisfied with the explanation given by the witnesses, but there was room for improvements to ensure no repeat of issues.

On a question, he noted that some of the topics were carried forward from last year’s meeting such as the swiftlet nest harvesting issue, the Mesej programme, and the animal slaughter house management issue.

“We will bring forward issues as long as they have not been resolved, even from the 2016 or 2017 AG’s report, to ensure they are settled.

“Sabah PAC will also continue to monitor these entities, ” he added.

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