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Four officers investigated by MACC

10:35am 03/12/2015 Ann Vivien 2 views Current Issue,National

MACC

PUTRAJAYA: Four officers from three ministries involved in two projects which received punitive reprimands in the third series of the 2014 Auditor-General’s Report are now being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said Chief Secretary to the Government Tan
Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

He said the officers from the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health were also being investigated by the Public Service
Department (PSD) for disciplinary action.

The cases involve the construction projects of religious schools in Sarawak and the upgrading of Hospital Nora Ismail, Batu Pahat, Johor – that is two of the 12 punitive reprimands in the third series of the report.

“The MACC is investigating four officers from the respective ministries as they are suspected to be involved in corruption. These investigations are running simultaneously. If found guilty, they will be charged in court. If there is no case, they will be referred to the Public Service Department for disciplinary action,” he said during a session with the media on the follow-up action for the third series of the 2014 Auditor-General’s Report, here today.

Also present were Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, secretaries-general of ministries, as well as heads of government departments, agencies and statutory bodies.

Ali also said that based on investigations, two reprimands concerning the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Education involved losses of RM501,524.33 to the government.

Of this, RM416,433.33 was for preliminary work management through contracts in the Works Ministry, and RM85,091 for the management of
construction projects of national religious schools and other related facilities in the Ministry of Education, he said.

“The loss is due to payments made not in accordance with the contract specifications. Other reprimands did not involve financial losses, but instead
were errors which occurred due to non-compliance with financial regulations,” he said.

On the status of punitive reprimands for the first and second series’ of the 2014 Auditor-General’s Report, Ali said a total of 16 ministry officers had had their disciplinary proceedings initiated, of which nine of them were handed  punishments by the Disciplinary Board ranging from warnings to demotion.

Apart from that, he said one official was under consideration for being dismissed or demoted, and the punishment for another six officers were still
being determined.

“At the federal statutory body-level, of the 30 officers named, 17 officers are facing disciplinary proceedings, while 13 officers have been released.
In addition, for the 931 corrective reprimands, 69.3 per cent or 645 reprimands have already been improved upon, and 30.7 per cent or 286 reprimands were still being worked on,” he said.

When asked about the number of cases and disciplinary action taken for the third series of the 2013 Auditor-General’s report, Mohamad Zabidi said 211 reprimands involving 339 officers had been identified to have disciplinary proceedings carried out against them.

He said after studying the facts of the cases and the representation of the officers, the Disciplinary Board meted out punishments against 132 officers,
while 200 were acquitted, and seven were still undergoing proceedings.

“We assure you that we are taking action. Of the 132 employees, one has been dismissed,” said Mohamad Zabidi.

He said other actions included reduction in salary (three employees), deferment of salary movement (13), fines (seven), fines and surcharge (two),
warning and deferment of salary movement (one), warning and fine (two), warning and surcharge (nine), warning (65), surcharge (29).

Touching on the amount of surcharges imposed on the officers, Ali said it involved about RM80,000.

When asked how the government would receive all these surcharges, Ali said: “Basically we have a formula to use surchage. We cannot recover the exact amount. It is always given back as a token and we only get the tip of the iceberg.

“For example, if the amount is RM500,000, and after a long process, officers are involved and found wrong, one of the punishment is surcharge. The extreme cases are sacked and we will not get anything else,” he said.- BERNAMA

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