KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The transformation of the public service undertaken during the 2016-2017 period of review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) is insufficient as there are still many unresolved issues related to governance, transparency, integrity and accountability, it was reported today.
The transformation process is tainted by the issue of transparency and accountability despite the various efforts being taken to improve service delivery through digitalisation, reducing bureaucratic processes, rationalising public institutions, strengthening talent management, and improving project management, according to the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 released by the Economic Affairs Ministry today.
It said the issue has affected the integrity and effectiveness of public institutions and the delivery of services that resulted in a deficit of confidence and trust among the people.
“Inaccurate and unreliable information with regard to processes and procedures provided by certain government agencies have resulted in confusion and erosion of confidence among the ‘rakyat’,” said the report.
Furthermore, efforts to address the duplication of the roles and functions of public sector institutions lacked support and were not comprehensive, while the establishment of new entities such as companies limited by guarantee and state-owned enterprises increasingly added to the financial burden of the government.
The delivery of public services that require strategic talent management and mind transformation also faced difficulty in obtaining and maintaining appropriate individuals.
“In addition, integrity issues remain a crucial concern and need to be further addressed at all levels in collaboration with stakeholders,” said the report.
The report added that previous decisions on public procurement related to political interference in the awarding of contracts and selection of projects have adversely affected public trust and perception towards government integrity and accountability.
Also, during the review period (2016-2017), three global indices of Selected Outcome Performance have yet to achieve the target set.
The three global indexes comprise the government’s competitiveness sub-index in the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), the United Nations e-Government Development Index (UN EGDI) online sub-index (OSI), and the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International.
Malaysia’s position in the three selected international indices in relation to public service delivery has dropped during the review period. Based on the WCY Government Efficiency sub-index, Malaysia ranked 25th out of 63 countries in 2017 compared to 18th out of 61 countries in 2016.
“The drop in the WCY ranking is due to the underperformance in all five sub-factors, namely public finance, fiscal policy, business legislation, societal framework and institutional framework,” the report said.
Malaysia’s position in the UN EGDI OSI also dropped to 40th among 193 countries in 2016 compared to 31st from 191 countries in 2014.
“The fall is attributed to lack of citizen-centric services such as e-participation, open data and accessibility to online services,” the report said.
Malaysia’s reputation has also been affected by its worst-ever position in the CPI in 2017, declining to 62nd position among 180 countries compared to 55th among 176 countries in 2016, following a perception of failure in resolving major corruption scandals, it said.
In this regard, it said, in the remaining plan period for 2018-2020, the Pakatan Harapan-led government will implement more effective and bold measures to reform the public service towards greater transparency and accountability. — Bernama