KOTA KINABALU, July 15 — The Auditor-General’s Report has recommended a restructuring of the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) after a host of discrepancies was found with its management including 56 acquisitions that were made not according to government procedures.
The report said that 45 per cent of the acquisitions totaling RM5.5 million were made without asking for a quotation while 21.4 per cent of acquisitions totaling RM11.31 million were not done according to open tender.
It also said that RM17 million of its funds were invested by TalentCorp, without its knowledge.
“Overall, it can be summarised that the SL1M programme is not implemented efficiently given its lack of information following their graduates, and also the weakness in their financial, acquisition, registration and monitoring management aspects.”
The report listed 13 areas of concern in its audit of the programme including incomprehensive date from its secretariat, the lack of knowledge of the RM9 million in 2017 and RM 8 million in 2018 by Talentcorp, no contract or MoU between them and TalentCorp and no balancing statement from TalentCorp, which caused a discrepancy of RM5.69 million in their year-end statements.
It also said that accounts showed overspending in their RM718,760 payment to an artist to act as its spokesperson, even before services were rendered.
“SL1M also spent RM10,4 million on advertising in print and electronic media without approval from the necessary authority,” said the report.
The programme was tasked with training some 60,000 graduates for three years between 2016 and 2018.
The actual number of graduates who underwent its programme cannot be ascertained due to incomplete information and also because some of the government-linked companies and private companies involved did not provide the information to the SL1M secretariat because they were not required to.
The report noted that the SL1M Secretariat has received an allocation of RM65.8 million from the Prime Minister’s Department and Finance Ministry for 2016 to 2018, in which RM54.3 million had been spent.
In its recommendations, the AG report said that the Entrepreneur Development Ministry needs to review the structure or SL1M, now known as PROTEGE, with reinforcement control and monitoring.
It said the ministry has to look into the registration, approval, and vetting of participants and companies, and also manage its accounts and acquisitions according to government standards and prerequisites.
“There needs to be a mechanism to measure the outcome and justify the funds spent on the programme,” it said.