Treasury officials will meet with their counterparts in other ministries and agencies over spending excesses and non-compliance with guidelines on procurement.
Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said Treasury officials would be meeting them from next month over problems that have cropped up in the procurement system.
He said if wrongdoing was found, punitive measures, including imposing a surcharge for the excess costs, would be imposed.
“We want to improve the Federal Government’s procurement system by having more transparency and ensuring that there is more value for money,” he said.
He was commenting on ministries and agencies where their spending excesses and non-compliance with Treasury guidelines on procurement were highlighted in the 2008 Auditor-General’s report and the latest Starprobe report.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual post-Budget dialogue hosted by the Malaysian Economic Association yesterday that checks and balances, including the internal monitoring system on spending by the respective ministries and agencies, have been under review since last month.
“I’m also very concerned as this (excessive costs) happens every year,” Wan Abdul Aziz said.
It is understood that from Sept 1, infrastructure projects valued below RM100mil would be handled directly by the ministry or agency concerned without having to go through the Finance Ministry.
For procurement of supplies and services, it would be RM50mil and below.
Previously, projects valued below RM50mil and procurement of supplies and services below RM30mil did not need Finance Ministry approval.
Wan Abdul Aziz said this was to cut down on red tape and ensure that projects and procurement were approved faster.
“Our priority will be on the open and restricted tender systems unless the procurement or project is for defence and security matters or if there’s only one supplier in the country,” he added.
On another note, Wan Abdul Aziz said despite the cut in the Federal Government’s operating budget for next year, core services would not be allowed to deteriorate.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had tabled an operating expenditure of RM138.3bil for Budget 2010, 14% below this year’s allocation.
“They’ve to maintain their core services so they’ll have to prioritise given the tight budget,” he said.