Towards accountability in the public sector (Write-up)

Almost everyone would agree that accountability is desirable for a clean, efficient and effective government. Without accountability, there is likely to be a trust deficit and It will be difficult for a government to function without trust.

Unfortunately, the reality is that few people would like to be held accountable, and they will resist any effort to hold them accountable. Accountability is a complex subject, and the related issues are well documented in the references provided in this article. The references are for jurisdictions like the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.  

A prerequisite for accountability is transparency or access to government data and information. In Malaysia, cabinet papers, discussions and decisions are by default under the Official Secret Act. Unless there is a major change of policy, there is little or no transparency or accountability at the ministerial level. Continue reading

Advertisements

AG’s Report: Can we break the never-ending cycle?

faviconThe latest series of the AG’s report has just been released. As usual, there was a flurry of articles in the mainstream media. It would appear that many journalists are assigned the job to read the newly released report, to find the sensational issues raised by the National Audit Department (NAD). Then there were the comments from the members of Civil-Society Organization, who will decry the inaction and lack of political will of the government. As usual, canned solutions are proposed with all the zeal and convictions. This cycle has been going on for years.  Do people expect a different result?

Continue reading

AG’s Report and audit reports

To the uninitiated, the terms “Auditor-General’s Report”, “Annual AG’s reports” and “audit reports” may be confusing.  This short note is to clarify how we interpret these terms and how that are used in our system.

All the reports produced by the Auditor-General’s office or the National Audit Department are collectively termed as the Auditor-General’s Report. Continue reading

Soft launch of the AG’s Report Information Graph

Multicentric Technology Sdn Bhd is pleased to announce that the AG’s Report Information Graph (beta) is available online with effect from 1st November 2015. This system for monitoring the civil service and other public entities by making the Auditor-General’s Report more accessible, integrated and usable. The underlying objective of this is to promote transparency, accountability and good governance in the civil service and other public entities.
Continue reading

How the Auditor-General’s Annual Report is Published

The report produced by the Auditor General Office (National Audit Department) is collectively referred to as the Auditor General Report. The AG is mandated by the Federal Constitution and The Audit Act 1957 to audit the accounts of the various government ministries, department, and agencies, produce a report, submit the report to the Yang DiPertuan Agung, who will cause it to be tabled in Parliament.

The NAD publishes an annual AG report, and this report is in several volumes.  To download the various documents the users will have to visit a few pages on the National Audit Department Web site (http://www.audit.gov.my). The documents that contain the full audit reports are in Malay while summaries or synopsis of the audits is also available in English. The language of the captions is the same as that of the documents. Continue reading

Audit Objects or Entities

The Auditor General is given the mandate to audit all government agencies and government linked companies (GLCs) where the government own 50% of the shares or have given a grant to the company. A list of government agencies can be found at http://www.malaysia.gov.my >> Direktori Agensi. We counted that there are about 1400 agencies. In one of the interviews with Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Haji Ambrin Bin Buang, the Auditor General, he stated that there are about 1700 GLCs. This makes a total of about 3100 public entities the AG is auditing. In any one year, only a small sample of these entities is audited. This short note shows how the audit entities’ information can be accessed through the system. Continue reading