Purchasing vs Procurement Revisited

purchasing-and-procurementThe terms purchasing and procurement are often used interchangeably by people who cannot distinguish their meanings. If you google for “purchasing procurement”, there are millions of hits. Despite the best efforts by the authors, after reading a few of the articles, the meaning of purchasing and procurement may slowly merge. The problem is that both activities contain many common processes such as tendering, vendor selection, contract negotiation and so on.

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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?

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AG’s Report: Government Linked Companies

glc

In Malaysia, the GLCs get the spotlight every so often when politicians fight. They remain an enigma even though they have been around for a few decades now.  It would appear that positions in the GLCs are a reward rather than an opportunity to serve the organization.  Politicians with dubious expertise are often appointed as directors.  Their remuneration and other benefits are shrouded in secrecy.

Information on the performance and activities of the GLCs other than the public companies is not publicly available although their audited accounts may be obtained from the Registrar of Companies for a fee. Fortunately, the National Audit Department (NAD) does audit these public entities, and the audit information is included in the annual Auditor-General’s reports. Sadly, this information is spread over many documents within the same year and over several years making them difficult to access, integrate and analyze. When evaluating the performance of GLCs, one must not forget that these GLCs are often given monopolistic businesses with special treatment and direct access to the government. It is, therefore, interesting to review the findings of the National Audit Department on the GLCs.

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AG’s Report: Cross-tabulation

CrossTab “Cross-tabulation is a statistical process that summarizes categorical data to create a contingency table. They are heavily used in survey research, business intelligence, engineering and scientific research.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-tabulation

In our earlier posts on “Who is audited?” and “Government Procurement,” we have looked at the facilities provided in the AG’s Report Information Graph for making the audit information more accessible, integrated and usable.  For management purposes, we need to be able to have an overview of this intricate network of information. One way of doing this is to cross-tabulate the audit issues with the other facets available. This cross-tabulation adds a new dimension to how we view the integrated audit information to help us gain insights on the issues encountered by the government machinery.
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AG’s Report: Government Procurement

Procurement Banner

Procurement is one of the critical activities of the government machinery and is said to be a primary source of government leakages. In recent years, the annual budget for development is about RM50 billion, which is mainly expanded through the procurement of products and services.  On top of this, the budgets for operating expenditure included monies for government supplies, acquisition of movable assets, maintenance, and other services. With so much money involved in procurement, it is not surprising that this activity is receiving a lot of attention.  The AG’s office has special audits on Procurement Management, and at the same time, many other audits include findings and recommendations related to procurement.The purpose of the article is not to determine the strength and weakness of the Malaysian Government Procurement practices nor to provide recommendations on how procurement can be improved. Rather, it is to show how procurement-related information is organized in the Malaysian Auditor-General’s Information Graph (MyAGR) and how researchers can search and explore to get a more comprehensive view of the procurement issues.
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AG’s Report: Who is audited?

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Banner Who is audited by the AG’s office? Depending on the flavor of the week in the social media, different public entities are named. Recently, this has included Petronas, Jakim, Permata, PMO, MACC, PDRM and so on.  If you are looking for a single entity, you can try your luck by searching the AG’s office website. However, for management purposes, as required by those in the administration, civil societies, and research, we need to look at the audited entities more broadly and from different perspectives, e.g.

  1. National level
  2. Federal level
  3. State level
  4. Departmental level and
  5. Organizational level.

We may also want to know how many audits have been undertaken with any of the public entities and be able to access the audit reports and summaries directly.  This exercise can be a daunting task if you are working with the original reports from the AG’s office, but the task is made easy with the Malaysia Auditor-General’s Report Information Graph.  The objective of Information Graph is to address this type of issues and more by making the audit reports more accessible, integrated and usable. Continue reading