Discard ‘business as usual’ attitude, ministry staff told

|     James Kon     |

STAFF at the Ministry of Development need to change their mindset and self-discipline to overcome weaknesses at the ministry, Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said.

He also said the “it is business as usual” attitude was unacceptable.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi made these comments at the launch of the internal audit guideline workshop organised by the Audit Department, Prime Minister’s Office at the Betabur Hall, Ministry of Development yesterday.

He said from observations of the Internal Audit Unit of the Ministry of Development which carried out auditing on financial and management of projects, “it cannot be denied that there are many weaknesses that needs to be improved”.

Among the issues revealed during the internal auditing on the management of projects, the minister outlined “the misuse of the work procedure manual, management of quotation and tender as well as inefficiency in payment, untidy filing system, lack of understanding in Quotation Administration Guideline (QAGE) and Contract Administration Guideline (CAGE), lack of attention of auditing, failure to respond to the audit report on the set date and some departments’ failure to update the financial statement which needed to be audited.”

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar delivers his speech. – JAMES KON

The weaknesses, he said can cause wastage and even mismanagement.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi added, “This can cause projects to be delayed, increase costs and low quality workmanship as contractors and subcontractors do not follow specifications stated in the contract.”

The minister believed the main cause for the weaknesses were incompetence, negligence and the attitude of taking work lightly, including looking after the work of subordinates.

“The lack of regulation that guarantees accountability and bad administrative is also one of the main factors causing weaknesses whereby I believe is not only a weakness in the system but also a human factor,” he said.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi said all department heads at the ministry should cooperate with the Internal Audit Unit during auditing.

He said auditing was done not to look for faults but to provide benefits to ministry officers and staff to void noncompliance in handling the work process including the management of finance and government assets as well as identifying weaknesses in implementing tasks and responsibilities.

The minister said the initiative of the Internal Audit Unit of the Ministry of Development has directly contributed to the whole-of-nation approach.