Govt to revive town hall session to clarify issues raised in Auditor-General's Report

PUTRAJAYA: The government will revive the town hall session, which will serve as a platform for ministries and secretaries general (KSU) to inform people about measures and actions taken in response to the findings of the Auditor General’s (AG) Report.

Chief Secretary to the government, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said he had instructed the Public Service Department (PSD) to carry out the town hall session to allow the ministries and secretaries general to provide clarification on the measures that have been taken in response to issues raised in the AG Report.

"We’ve had the town hall session before, and I have instructed the PSD to do the same thing...we will revive the town hall session to clarify the issues raised in the AG Report.

"Insya-Allah, we will inform the actions we take through this town hall session. I have instructed the PSD to hold the session and called the KSU to respond,” he said in an interview to mark the One Year Anniversary of the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The town hall session with the media following the tabling of the AG Report have been held in 2015, 2016, and 2017, with the Chief Secretary, KSU, department heads, and government servants in attendance.

On Nov 22, the 2022 AG Report revealed that a total of RM681.71 million in public funds were identified as losses in six government programmes following 16 performance audits conducted on 14 ministries involving RM208.882 billion.

Auditor General Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi said the six programmes were the Padi Planting Management Programme, Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) Property Development Management, the management and regulation of firearms of the departments and agencies under the Home Ministry; the management of the Marine Protected Area Conservation Programme, the Investment Promotion Programme for the Manufacturing Sector; and the management of the Safe City Programme.

On Anwar’s call for department heads to minute all discussions regarding the report, Mohd Zuki said it proved that the Prime Minister viewed the report findings seriously and did not want the public service to make the same mistakes again.

Mohd Zuki stated that he would examine the minutes of the report at the ministry and department levels before bringing them to the Prime Minister's attention.

On Nov 6, Anwar, in his speech at the monthly assembly with staff of the Prime Minister's Department, called on all department heads, directors-general and secretaries-general to minute all discussions regarding the AG Report before handing it over to the Chief Secretary.

The Prime Minister said the report needed to be re-examined to improve administrative governance, in addition to being able to identify and help reduce leakages in the country’s administration.

Meanwhile, Mohd Zaki said in an effort to eradicate corruption and improve administrative governance, the government would introduce the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) as a continuation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACP) 2019-2023.

"This proves that the Prime Minister’s focus this time is not solely on the enforcement of misconduct or punishing those found guilty.

"It is even more than that; he wants to see that good governance practices start with the civil servants themselves,” he said. – Bernama

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