Friday, May 30, 2008

PEMUDAH - Public Procurement Process and Management of Projects Must Reflect Ease and Transparency All the Way

PEMUDAH – the government’s task force for facilitating businesses in Malaysia – will spend the next six months streamlining several processes and measures related to public procurement, facilitating e-payments for all government transactions as well as ease cargo clearance.
This comes in the wake of the Prime Minister’s call made at the ASEAN Integrity Dialogue held recently, for transparency and accountability in all public procurement and tender processes.
PEMUDAH will be formulating a framework to improve the public procurement process, making it more transparent and accountable.
In Co-Chairing the 5th PEMUDAH meeting of the year, the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said that they are working towards completing the framework by year-end. PEMUDAH, by virtue of its public-private membership and mandate to facilitate business, is the ideal vehicle to ensure positive improvements to the public procurement system, he further added.
To date, many related initiatives have already been put in place to improve the public procurement system including the issuance of the Treasury Circular Letter (TCL) 5/2007 incorporating changes and improvements to the government procurement rules and procedures.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has also expounded blueprint measures to ensure that all government agencies implement and comply with the TCL 5/2007, making the bidding process competitive and transparent.
Initiatives are being implemented to make transactions with Government Agencies more efficient through the streamlining of e-payment systems. By 1 July 2008, all payments to the government will be e-payable. However, counter service would still be made available for those who prefer it. A major initiative, the e-payment implementation process will ‘convert’ the facilities in a total of 106 agencies in three stages. Of the 106 agencies, 21 will be ready by 1 May, followed by another 55 agencies by June1, and 30 agencies by July 2008.
Currently, 83 counters in 72 branches of Road Transport Department (JPJ) accept credit card for payment of renewal of road tax. The debit card will come on stream by the end of 2008. JPJ also accepts payment via e-Services at 111 approved sites for booking of theory test, issuance / renewal of learner’s driving licence, renewal of competent driving licence and traffic summons.
Another key improvement announced today was on pre-clearance of cargo based on Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) of vessels. This will take effect from 1 July 2008. Customs will also be working with the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) to expand its Customs Golden Client and Authorised Economic Operator facilities to companies endorsed by FMM. ETA information will be made available to all Government Agencies ahead of time to facilitate clearance at any time of the day and on weekends and public holidays.
Sidek reminded PEMUDAH members that in the government’s efforts to establish and enhance integrity, the private sector has to also assume its due role. Delays as experienced in the past are not always attributable to government processes but rather they are caused by the private sector.
“The construction industry for example feeds into the lives of many of us in its various form and facets. Therefore the private sector must assume greater responsibility and accountability when implementing these projects. Delays and non compliance from some of these projects has resulted in abandoned project with its associated problems as well as unacceptable levels of disruption and disturbance to lives of people who live and work in the vicinity. Sub standard quality of work by developers and contractors alike has also affected buyers of properties”, he reaffirmed.

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