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C4 identifies 5 key issues to address in govt procurement bill

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism says the government should release the bill for public scrutiny ahead of time so the community can provide its views. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An anti-corruption group has identified five key issues that can be addressed in the procurement bill which the special Cabinet committee on national governance has agreed to enact.

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said these issues include the overarching power ministers have over financial operations and the procurement process, as well as the need to ensure the civil service’s compliance with procurement procedures.

C4 said the five issues were included in the draft policy paper it presented at a forum titled “Crafting the Future of Malaysia’s Public Procurement”, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes last week.

“The paper formed the basis for subsequent discussions surrounding urgent reforms that need to be made in the field of public procurement and the related challenges to be overcome in doing so,” it said in a statement today.

It pointed out the importance of accessibility and transparency of procurement-related information, and the need to enact a mechanism to receive feedback on flawed procurements.

C4 said the government should adopt adequate transparency measures to prevent the abuse of “national security” exemptions in the procurement process.

It called for the bill to be released for public scrutiny in advance so the community can provide the necessary feedback.

“The government has stated that the legislation is to curb corruption and wastage in the procurement process, so it is important that the preamble and provisions to the bill should reflect this intention.

“The participation of the private sector and civil society in assessing the drafted bill is vital to the success of this law,” it said.