PETALING JAYA: Two ministries either delayed or neglected to lodge police reports on losses of public money and movable assets, in some cases taking almost five years to file a report, according to the Auditor-General’s Report for 2019.
In its audit on compliance with procedures on losses of public money and movable assets, it found that two ministries – the Education Ministry and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry – had lagged.
For the Education Ministry, police reports for 21 public money and movable asset losses amounting to RM705,894 were not yet or were late in being lodged, taking between three and 1,746 days.
“The time taken to lodge a police report is unreasonable, which is up to 1,746 days compared to 24 hours after the losses are discovered.
“Due to this, follow-up action such as the preparation of the preliminary and final reports could not be done within the stipulated time, ” said the audit report released on Monday (Aug 24).
The A-G’s Report also found that at the Ministry, preliminary reports for 13 public money losses amounting to RM669,718 were also not yet or were late to be prepared, taking between seven and 1,922 days.
“Preliminary reports for 62 cases of movable asset losses amounting RM1.28mil were late to be submitted to the Controlling Officer by between 14 and 1,791 days, ” said the report.
The standard procedure is that the loss of public money or movable assets must be submitted to the Secretariat by between 66 and 63 working days.
This counts from the date the police report is made until the date the final report is submitted to the Secretariat.
In its reply to the audit, the Education Ministry said the delay in lodging the official reports was due to the late response of its Responsibility Centre (PTJ), incomplete reports, and the time taken by the district education officer to check on the cases, among others.
Meanwhile at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the audit found that police reports for seven public money losses amounting to RM196,132 were late in being lodged, taking between five and 853 days.
The audit described the amount of time taken to lodge a police report as “unreasonable”.
“A police report should have been lodged as soon as the losses were discovered and a preliminary report must be prepared and submitted immediately to the Controlling Officer, ” said the report.
It also found that preliminary reports for four public money losses amounting to RM405,176 were also delayed by between 38 and 1,484 days.
“The final report for eight public money losses investigations amounting to RM543,088 were also not yet or were late in being submitted to the Secretariat by between 18 and 277 days, ” said the report.
The Women’s Ministry’s response received by the National Audit Department on March 16 stated that the delay in preparing the preliminary report was due to the officer having a lack of understanding on procedures.
“The department has taken a remedial action by planning to hold a conference involving all Welfare Department officers regarding financial management, which will also include public money loss management procedures, in order to overcome and minimise mistakes in the future, ” said the Ministry.
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