KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has found the Education Ministry guilty of contract mismanagement in their RM4 billion 1BestariNet project for schools.
In a report tabled at the Dewan Rakyat today, the PAC found the reasoning given by the Education Ministry unacceptable.
"The issue which was raised is from weakness in contract management.
"The Parliament PAC cannot accept the reason submitted by the Education Ministry that it was not aware on the value management lab circular," the report read, referring to an Economic Planning Unit (EPU) 2009 circular that makes it mandatory for projects worth RM50 million and above to go through a “value management process”.
The PAC found that the 1BestariNet project did not go through that process.
The committee also recommended for the Auditor General's Department to have a follow-up audit on the project.
“PAC has decided that the Auditor-General’s Department [carry] out a thorough follow-up audit related to the matters raised and to carry out rectification as there are a lot of doubtful expenditures.
“The PAC also wants the Auditor-General’s Department to carry out a study on the effectiveness in implementing the 1BestariNet project,” the PAC said.
The PAC added that further scrutiny should be given in order to "protect government importance".
The PAC led by Rompin MP Datuk Hasan Arifin will also be visiting all schools that are involved in the project in both cities and rural areas.
The project is expected to take 15 years to complete, worth RM4.077 billion involving 10,000 schools.
The 1BestariNet project that aims to provide high-speed 4G Internet access to schools began in 2011. Last year, the Auditor-General’s Report found that the software and equipment were used by just one per cent of students in the participating schools.