Audit report finds weaknesses in managing 40 Selangor permanent forest reserves

SHAH ALAM: The Auditor-General’s Report 2021 Series 2 on the Special Audit of Forest Management and Environmental Impact found weaknesses in the management of 40 out of the 76 permanent forest reserves in Selangor.

In a statement on Tuesday (March 14), the National Audit Department said the report revealed that there had been no work done on measuring and marking the outer boundary of the forests.

It also said nine incoming gazettes and seven outgoing gazettes of forest reserves have yet to be published in the gazette notification for a period of between one and seven years from the date of approval by the state executive council meeting.

Furthermore, 106,754.66ha (42.5%) of permanent reserves have yet to be gazetted according to 12 functional classes.

The report also disclosed that 40 cases of illegal land clearing were recorded involving an area of 3,537.01ha, namely for agricultural activities (3,356.67ha), settlement and infrastructure (146.08ha) and animal husbandry (34.26ha).

In addition, there was non-compliance with the state’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements for quarrying activities such as oil storage containers being placed in open areas, scheduled waste not being properly managed, the impact of open burning on quarry sites, and water and air quality exceeding the set limits.

According to the report, the output from the aspect of forest revenue collection showed a decrease, with the estimated loss of use permit revenue amounting to RM7.16mil for recreational forest management and RM1.36mil for forest plantations.

On the financial statements of the state government and state agencies for 2021, the report found that the state’s financial position was strong.

"Overall, the remaining balance of the Consolidated Fund for Selangor increased by RM358.69mil or 14.7% to RM2.804bil in 2021 compared to RM2.445bil in 2020,” it said.

At the end of 2021, Selangor recorded a current surplus in the consolidated revenue account amounting to RM250.34mil.

The report was tabled at the Selangor state legislative assembly on Tuesday and uploaded on the National Audit Department’s website. – Bernama

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