27 October 2011

Auditor-general need not run report past cabinet...

Constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari has argued that it was wrong for the cabinet to be involved in the Auditor-General's Report as it is against the spirit of the constitution.

According to Article 107 of the federal constitution, the report has to be prepared by the auditor-general and be handed to the Agong for it to be tabled to the Dewan Rakyat.

"Where does it state that the cabinet is involved? This (practice) is wrong and it could be challenged in court. Also the cabinet is seen as a player in the report," said the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) law lecturer.

"Logically, if it is tabled to the cabinet, why is there a need for it to be brought to the Parliament. If this is the case, there is no need for the post of the auditor-general," he added.

Auditor-General Ambrin Buang (right) had on Oct 21 explained that since 1982, it has been a practice for the report to be brought before the cabinet first before it is tabled to the Dewan Rakyat.

He said this was for the cabinet to familiarise themselves with the issues raised by the report so that they could explain them in Parliament.

NONEMysterious delay

Several Pakatan Rakyat MPs have questioned the absence of the report at the 2012 budget sitting over the past two weeks.

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong had wanted the prime minister to explain the delay as it is a practice for the report to be unveiled on the same day as the tabling of the budget, which was Oct 7.

"While we are not questioning the practice, I think the responsibility lies with the cabinet to decide when it should be presented," Liew told reporters in the Parliament lobby on Monday.

Abdul Aziz, when contacted by Malaysiakini, said although the constitution is silent on when the AG's report would be tabled in Parliament, he felt that the tabling should have been done without delay to safeguard its integrity.

"Hence, the auditor-general should explain the delay as he is appointed by the Yang di Pertuan Agong with the approval from the Council of Malay Rulers."

He explained further that it should not take long for the report to reach Parliament as the Agong need not scrutinise government expenditure.

"The delay is actually a mystery," he said.


Aziz Bari: Audit negara salah libatkan kabinet


Disbeliever: The auditor-general will continue to highlight each year all the shortcomings but all the recommendations will fall on deaf ears. Why? Because everything is stamped ‘no further action'. Take action and immediately sack those responsible! This will guarantee that the following year, there will be a marked improvement in the spending of government money, which actually belongs to the taxpayers.

SusahKes: It is clear that the Prime Minister Najib Razak has little political will in addressing financial mismanagement by civil servants; after all, Umno needs their votes. And what does our PM do? He rewards them with one and half month's bonus.

David Dass: We go through this again and again. It is astonishing how we allow so much money to be lost through incompetence, recklessness, indifference and dishonesty. We are not Zimbabwe or Sudan. We are supposed to be well on the way to advanced nation status. How can we tolerate this? The men and women from the Audit Department have worked hard to discover these misdeeds. Are we going to let the culprits go with only a rap on their knuckles?


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