RM10.8m disbursed to help Indians not audited

 KUALA LUMPUR: The 2018 Auditor-General’s Report has noted that files on funds worth RM10.8 million to assist the Indian community through 23 programmes in 2014, were not submitted to the National Audit Department.

Issued Monday and covering the 2014-2018 period, the report said the funds were disbursed to 20 non-governmental organisations (NGO) by the Socio-Economic Development for the Indian Community (SEDIC) unit established under the previous government, and renamed the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA) under the Prime Minister’s Department.

It further noted that in 2017, a total of RM18.9 million was provided by SEDIC to 49 NGOs which had failed to meet the approval criteria.

Stating that SEDIC had displayed poor administration and monitoring in reference to development programmes for the Indian community, the report observed that although SEDIC had received an allocation of almost RM204 million for the 2014 to 2018 period, programmes under its purview had not been run efficiently because of incomplete records which in turn, could not be used to evaluate the outcomes of the initiatives.

The report added that inspections made at 15 NGOs and one private training institute found that funds worth RM2.77 million had been spent on matters outside stipulated terms, while 18 NGOs did not furnish complete documentation for payments worth RM8.13 million towards allowances, tokens, insurance and kits for participants.  

The report recommended that MITRA establishes a comprehensive database that should be updated regularly as this will assist in improving the unit’s assessment of the outcomes of its various programmes.

It also called on the unit to assess and approve applications transparently in accordance with guidelines set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA).

Other recommendations included the need for MITRA to establish detailed standard operating procedures and to blacklist NGOs which did not undertake programmes in accordance with such procedures. – Bernama

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