No more written reports, PAC wants to personally grill MoF reps on recommendations

PAC chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said in a press statement today that under this proposal, MoF representatives are no longer allowed to merely submit written replies on recommendations made by the PAC, but will instead be grilled over it personally. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
PAC chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said in a press statement today that under this proposal, MoF representatives are no longer allowed to merely submit written replies on recommendations made by the PAC, but will instead be grilled over it personally. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is planning to ensure the Ministry of Finance (MoF) would present its response to recommendations made by the former.

The committee’s chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said in a press statement today that under this proposal, MoF representatives are no longer allowed to merely submit written replies on recommendations made by the PAC, but will instead be grilled over it personally.

“Through this meeting, MoF as the ministry representing the government and is directly responsible towards PAC will table its reply and action taken based on the conclusion and recommendations found in this Committee’s report, when tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

“This Committee, as well as the public wants to know whether or not the conclusion and recommendations made by PAC during the proceeding/investigation on issues have truly been addressed. If action has been taken, what are the results?” Noraini said.

She explained that the powers vested to the PAC falls under Treasury Instructions (AP) 204 (b) that clearly states that whenever the PAC has submitted its report to the legislative, a copy of each paragraph from the report must be sent to the respective officer in charge of the issue.

If the report requires action to be taken, the respective officer must take action.

The officer must then report his finding to the Treasury secretary-general on the position of each paragraph that was referred to the officer.

The Treasury secretary-general must then submit a final memorandum on the issues raised by the report to the PAC. 

“Before this M0F had submitted their responses, conclusion and PAC recommendation reports to Parliament in a written reply. Since no one tabled their findings, PAC members were unable to receive the report in detail.

“Through this presentation meeting, PAC members have the opportunity to ask questions on every response given based on the connclusion or recommendation from this Committee’s Report,” said Noraini.

As a start, the PAC has set up a meeting on July 16 for MoF representatives to present their findings on the redevelopment of Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex’s existing facilities under the Public-Private Partnership system between the Youth and Sports Ministry.

It also wants to enquire the officers on public marina management under the Transport Ministry. A letter has already been sent to the Treasury secretary-general.

Both reports were tabled during the first meeting of the second sitting of the 14th Parliament which took place between March and April 2019.

“After listening to this response presentation, my PAC colleagues and I will discuss their reply and decide whether or not it needs to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat and turn it into a public document accessible by the public,” said Noraini.

However, she admitted that she needs to discuss the issue with Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof on whether or not the PAC is allowed to table MoF’s responses to the Lower House.

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