By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: Some seven state ministries, departments and agencies were summoned by the Sabah Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to give statements over several unresolved issues involving six research topics highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report for the year 2018.
The parties and topics involved were Fisheries Department on its seaweed cluster project, PBNS Holdings Sdn Bhd on management of State Baitulmal Corporation, and Veterinary Service Department on animal slaughter house management, Wildlife Department on management of swallow nest harvesting activities, Railway Department on railway service management, and Ministry of Rural Development, and Land Development Board on Mesej programmes for palm oil plantation.
“As a chairman, I am very satisfied with the testimonies given throughout the witness hearing session, but I would like to stress that there is still room for improvement to ensure such issues do not arise in the future.
“Among the things that should be focused on are the financial administration and the programmes that could give impacts to the people,” said Sabah PAC chairman Datuk Abidin Madingkir.
He was speaking to reporters after chairing the two-day PAC Committee Meeting which ended today at the Sabah Legislative Building.
He however said that the issue regarding the management of the State Baitulmal Corporation could not be discussed since the senior officer of the said agency did not show up during the meeting.
“PAC views this matter seriously. We expect the senior officials of the entities to be present when summoned and we will not accept any lower-ranked officials,” he stated.
In addition to that, three other entities were also summoned to provide statements for their poor performance on the 2018 Financial Management (Accountability Index).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries scored a one-star rating on its performance, while Putatan District Office and the Department of Islamic Religious Affairs each recorded a rating of two stars.
The other state entities showed great performance of which all of them scored a three to five stars’ rating.