Agency set up to help Malaysian Indian community told to be more efficient

Agency set up to help Malaysian Indian community told to be more efficient

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The Malaysia Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA), an agency set up to aid the socio-economic development of the Indian community in the country, has been urged to be more efficient in the assessment and monitoring of programmes undertaken through the unit.

The call was made following the discovery that the unit, originally called the Socio Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC), set up by the previous government in 2014, had somewhat failed to achieve the objectives it had been set up for. The unit took on the new name of MITRA early this year.

According to the Audit General 2018 Report (Series 1) released here today, a total of RM203.89 million had been channelled to SEDIC from the year 2014 to 2018. The programmes were however not run efficiently by the unit, said the Audit report, pointing out that there were no records or maintenance of data to assess the outcomes of the programmes.

“In 2017, 49 non governmental organisations (NGOs), that did not meet the established criteria, were approved to received funds amounting to RM18.91 million. SEDIC could also not furnish for auditing, the individual files of 20 NGOs who received approvals for 23 programmes with funds amounting to RM10.77 million in 2014,” the report said.

Among other matters raised in the report, 15 NGOs and a private institution for skills training were also found to have exceeded expenditure beyond their fixed allocation of RM2.77 million while another eight NGOs were found to have not paid allowances meant for participants, location tokens, insurance as well as participants kits amounting to RM 8.13 million in value.

Another 18 NGOs were found to have not furnished supporting documents for a payout amounting to RM8.13 million.

The report said the process adopted by SEDIC to administer and monitor the implementation and assessment of the NGO programmes was weak.

In view of this, MITRA has been called to set up a more comprehensive database and to coordinate more efficiently towards raising the level of monitoring and assessing the programmes run for the community.

“MITRA has to be also more careful in approving programmes and must in sync with the scope set by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and must ensure that all applications are assessed in a more transparent manner and holistically based on the given guidelines for evaluation and selection,” the report recommended.

The report also called on MITRA to work with the MEA to study and review any allocations with MEA before channeling them to the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department and other agencies to finance the programmes.

This will ensure that the government allocation gets “value for money”and any misuse of funds by vested parties can be avoided, it said.

The Audit report also called on the ICU, MEA and MITRA to enhance internal controls and administration within MITRA to avoid any conflict of interest.

It also called on MITRA to prepare a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and blacklist NGOs that have not implemented their programmes or have not followed the given SOP.

MITRA was also advised to ensure that there is no political intervention or personal interest in the implementation of programmes run under the unit.



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