C - Political Reform C00. POLITICAL REFORM

C13. Ensure government procurement produces the best value for taxpayer’s money

May 10, 2018
In progress
Jun 2018

Cabinet move to end monopolies at ministries

Malaysian Insight June 20, 2018

PUTRAJAYA has set up a committee to study monopoly issues at several ministries, including the supply of drugs, said Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. The minister said the cabinet committee will be chaired by Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali. Dzulkefly said the apart from him, Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Agriculture Minister Salahuddin Ayub are also in the committee. “This issue of medicine monopoly is not just with the Health Ministry but involves services provided by the Transport and Agriculture Ministries. “Dr Mahathir felt that the solution would be to form a committee to be chaired by Azmin. “A comprehensive study is needed to look at this monopoly issue and a solution found which will give value for money. We want a solution that will avoid cost increases,” he said at the Health Ministry today. Since the end of Barisan Nasional rule, reports have emerged of companies owned by politicians from the previous administration enjoying a monopoly to supply drugs to the ministry. According to some reports, these monopolies resulted in the higher medicine costs supplied to government hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Dzulkefly said the committee will meet soon and the ministries involved will make policy changes based on its solutions. “The prime minister wants this done quickly. Monopolies being reviewed include those for the supply of rice by Bernas.” The issue also touched on policy matters, such as Bumiputera allocations, he said. “These will be taken into consideration by the committee.” On the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating his ministry, the Dzulkefly said he welcomed investigation into any company with a monopoly on the supply of drugs in the country. “The ministry has no problem (being investigated by MACC)… but there must be evidence and not just mere hearsay.” – June 20, 2018.

Jun 2018

Transport Ministry cancels RM800,000 ‘communications’ contract with Pemandu

The Malaysian Insight June 12, 2018

THE Transport Ministry has terminated an RM800,000 contract signed by the previous minister to engage Pemandu Associates to do communications work, which included writing his weekly articles in a mainstream English newspaper. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said his predecessor Liow Tiong Lai had engaged Pemandu to deliver a "ministerial communications programme" for seven months, starting January this year. “The contract was worth RM808,629.48. “Ministry officials didn’t know the scope of the ministerial communications programme but they were made to understand that one of the scope was to help the minister to write a weekly newspaper column,” Loke said in a press conference at the ministry today. Liow Tiong Lai, who is also MCA president, had a weekly column in the MCA-owned newspaper, The Star, prior to the 14th general election. “I have instructed the ministry to cancel this allocation because we don’t need any company to provide communications programme to minister. “I can communicate directly to all media, I don’t need any public relations company to help me in communication programmes,” he said. Loke added that the RM800,000 contract was an example of unnecessary spending by the previous administration. “I was told that no payment has been made out, there was no claim from the company yet but we don’t need to engage their services. “I’m not sure if the payment was based on services delivered or by columns but the value of the contract was RM808,000,” he said adding that the ministry did not have to use the money even though the allocation was part of the ministry’s budget. – June 12, 2018.

May 2018

Ensure government procurement produces the best value for taxpayer’s money

Pakatan Harapan May 10, 2018

The amount spent by the Malaysian Government for public procurement is very large, estimated to be more than RM100 billion a year through various projects and contracts. With such a large amount, it is important to ensure there is no wastage. The government holds taxpayer’s money in trust, and it is the duty of the government to spend the money with prudence. To ensure that every cent of taxpayer’s money is spent well, the Pakatan Harapan Government will reform the public procurement system and the way contracts are awarded. This is to ensure that it is more competitive and it will generate the best value for taxpayer’s money. We will ensure that the open tendering is used extensively and transparently, particularly for large projects. Under the Pakatan Harapan Government, the Ministry of Finance will be instructed to review all giant infrastructure projects with foreign countries so that its benefits can be shared by Bumiputera and all Malaysians fairly.

The Pakatan Harapan Government will review the practice of government procurement and tendering system, as well as the processes to issue public- private partnership contracts by the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS). Our aim is to make sure that the criteria for bidding is transparent and consistent. UKAS currently operates without transparency under the Prime Minister's Department. We will move it to the Ministry of Finance and all procedures to grant contract will be revamped to check the powers of the Minister and to eliminate corruption.

The use of information technology and online systems will be widened so that individual and political influences in decision-making can be eliminated. Information about contracts that have been awarded will be posted online so that the public and civil society can check them. International best practices such as the relevant OECD guidelines and the Open Contracting Partnership standards will serve as a major reference in our reform. Small and medium enterprises, including Bumiputera SMEs, will be given help to access information on government tenders, so that they have equal opportunity to bid for suitable contracts.