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Strict oversight on agency debts

Posted on 13 Mar 2024
Source of News: New Sarawak Tribune

KUCHING: Sarawak’s government agencies, departments, and ministries have been directed to improve the transparency in their financial operations.

Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman), Datuk Dr. Juanda Jaya, said that transparency issues, particularly in financial administration and the awarding of contracts, are a primary focus.

He highlighted concerns regarding Local Authorities (PBT), which have accumulated outstanding debts of RM38 million since 2002.

“The total isn’t just from 2002, but has been accumulating over the past 20 years,” he told reporters after paying a courtesy call to Abang Johari with the Special Cabinet Committee on Financial Statements and Annual Budget Estimates for State Statutory Bodies and Local Authorities Sarawak (CAPCOM) at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia today (Mar 12).

In response to these issues, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had recommended that agencies responsible for debt collection enhance their supervisory systems. This would include notifying debtors of their obligations and, if necessary, initiating legal proceedings to recover debts.

Dr. Juanda also brought attention to the issue of government-linked companies (GLCs) with numerous inactive subsidiaries, urging them to reassess their oversight mechanisms.
He also shared a positive note, revealing that out of 52 agencies audited, only four received warnings from the national audit, an achievement he praised for Sarawak.

However, he also acknowledged the Premier’s call for further improvements, even in areas where the issues were technical.

Furthermore, Dr. Juanda mentioned the Premier’s suggestion for agencies to provide monthly expenditure reports. This measure is intended to maintain a healthy government cash flow by only allocating funds based on actual monthly expenditures.

Dr Juanda expressed concerns over the practice of withholding funds until the year’s end, which has led to public complaints due to delayed maintenance and other necessary actions.

Also present were State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and other CAPCOM members.



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Last Updated On 08 Apr 2024

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