by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Parliament House on Friday, 20.3.1987:
Call on Prime Minister’s Department to explain why the 1983 Report of the Auditor-General on selected government operations and programmes was tabled in Parliament three years later
The Government has tabled the second special report of the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin bin Haji Zakaria on the performance audit of selected government operations and programmes to Parliament.
However, what is shocking is that this was a 1983 Report of Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, completed 30th November 1983, and submitted to the Government on 19th April 1984. The question the Prime Minister’s Department, which is charge of audit reports, must explain is why the Department, which is charge of audit reports, must explain is why the 1983 Report of Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin (who retired as Auditor-General in May last year) was tabled in Parliament three years later.
This is entirely against the government commitment of ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ administration.
As the Auditor-General’s Report on selected government operations and services is over three years old, its utility and relevance is highly reduced. There is also no memorandum from the Treasury as to what actions it has taken on the Auditor-General’s Annual Report on Federal Government Accounts.
This raises the question whether the Treasury and Government had to pay any notice at tall to special performance audit reports of the Auditor-General.
Performance audit is a new field, and must be fully encouraged. In the past, the Auditor-General has confined himself to the normal financial audit of the government accounts to ensure that accounts and other records are reliable and financial dealings made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
In early 1987, the Audit Act 1957 was amended to further provide for the Auditor-General to carry out ‘performance audits’, to promote improvements in the quality of management or operation by striving for greater efficiency or productivity.
The 1983 Report reviewed $1,500 million worth of government stores held by several government agencies throughout the country; two development programmes-namely village roads and minor rural development schemes; management of vehicles and food supplies by government departments which cost $100 million a year; maintenance of Marine Police patrol boats to safeguard Malaysian territorial waters.
It is most regrettable practice that important reports like the Auditor-General’s Report was tabled on the second last day of the parliamentary meeting, which did not allow MPs time to study the Report or to give notice for a parliamentary debate on the Report.
The Government should show it is serious about the performance audit activities of the Auditor-General, Datuk Ishak Tadin, carrying out performance audit to raise the efficiency and productivity of government services.