A whopping RM681 million in public funds wasted - AG ReportTUAN BUQHAIRAH TUAN MUHAMAD ADNAN
PUTRAJAYA - The Auditor General's Report 2022 (LKAN) revealed that a total of RM681.71 million in public funds was recorded as lost or missing due to the failure to implement six programmes.
According to the report issued on Wednesday, the programmes' failure to manage rice planting, which involved up to RM660.14 million in public funding, resulted in the largest loss ever recorded.
This was followed by the failure of the Langkawi Development Authority, or LADA, to manage property development (RM14.33 million) and the ministries or agencies under the Home Ministry to manage and regulate guns (RM6.34 million).
Furthermore, a loss of RM490,000 was reported by the Marine Protect Area Conservation Programme, which was followed by the investment promotion programme for the manufacturing sector (RM290,000) and the safe city management programme (RM120,00).
Among the failures related to failing to collect land lease revenue were subsidising rice paddies inefficiently, not fully supplying firearms as a substitute for disposing of them, and failing to grant exemptions from fines imposed on delays in the supply and delivery of fertiliser.
LKAN also revealed that a total of RM21.35 million was wasted through three managements.
It involves a loss of RM19.39 million by the management of foreign workers through the Integrated Foreign Worker Management System (ePPAx) and the Foreign Worker Centralised Management System (FWCMS); the management of marine protected area conservation programmes (RM1.04 million); as well as the management of programmes to strengthen the capacity, abilities, and competitiveness of the construction industry (RM920,000).
The issues raised include a system that is not being used to its full potential when 11 of the 14 ePPAx system modules are not being used in the process of managing foreign workers; additionally, the forward base project, which was finished in 2020, cannot be utilised; and the training equipment (ACMV Industrial) has not been used since it was received in 2018.
LKAN also detected two programme management who made irregular payments involving funds of RM1.52 million in the Elite Sports Podium Programme (RM1.04 million) and the management of the programme to empower the capacity, abilities, and competitiveness of the construction industry (RM50,000).
The resulting matter is related to expenses outside the scope of programme approval and sponsorships given to participants who need to meet the requirements.
The report also found that the achievement of the rice planting programme in an area of 416,415 hectares, or 64.3 per cent of the 647,936 hectares of rice planting area nationwide, could have been better.
It said there were rice granaries that have yet to be gazetted as rice planting areas as of December 31, 2022, causing the rice planting area in four granaries to experience a reduction of 11,123 hectares.
The four rice granaries are Kerian Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA), Northwest Selangor IADA, North Terengganu Agricultural Development Area IADA (Ketara), and Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA).
Unsatisfactory performance due to the problem of insufficient supply of basic rice seeds, thus opening the way for the use of rice seeds not recognised by the Agriculture Department, in addition to the delay in the distribution of fertiliser to the rice farmers as well as the dependence on the services of private machinery due to only 589 out of 892 agricultural machinery being able to operate.
The report also discovered that the remaining accumulated allocation as of 2022, amounting to RM448.87 million channelled by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) to the Farmers' Organisation Authority (LPP) for the provision of subsidies and incentives to rice farmers, was not spent as it should have been.
"KPKM had disregarded the interests of the government when it authorised suppliers to be completely exempt from penalties for late fertiliser supply, totaling RM211.27 million.
"In addition, the report found that there are deficiencies in monitoring the remaining allocations in the LPP and agencies involved with the rice cultivation in the other granaries (EPP 11)."