Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pay back, MARA suppliers told

Those who overcharged for items have to reimburse by Nov 30

PUTRAJAYA: The Rural and Regional Development Ministry has asked for reimbursement from Giatmara suppliers who overpriced their items.

The ministry's secretary-general, Datuk Ibrahim Muhamad, said in a statement yesterday that suppliers who failed to pay up by Nov 30 would be blacklisted by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and Giatmara.

"A committee set up to conduct an internal investigation on the purchase of the overpriced items has to submit its report to the ministry before Nov 25."

He said market research would be conducted for future procurements of any equipment.

The Auditor-General's Report had stated that instead of utilising a RM54 million allocation to provide training courses for the hardcore poor, money was spent on overpriced items.

Some of the items highlighted in the report were an oven bought at RM1,200 compared with the market price of RM419, folding beds at RM500 (market price RM100), two-burner gas cookers at RM200 each (market price RM59.90), hair clippers at RM250 each (market price RM79) and a blender at RM140 (market price RM60).

Ibrahim also said disciplinary action would be taken against officers if they were found guilty of negligence and fund mismanagement.

"It is now compulsory for financial management officers in the ministry, departments or agencies to attend training courses on handling financial matters."

An instruction to adhere to the food menu prepared by the ministry had also been issued to KEMAS kindergartens on Oct 25.

It was reported that more than half of the 143 KEMAS kindergartens in Johor, Kelantan, Kedah and Sabah did not adhere to the menu.

A team to monitor the food storage in kindergartens and nurseries has also been set up and it will be conducting spot checks.

It was highlighted in the report that Tabika KEMAS Al-Hijrah in Alor Star stored food in the bathroom because of the lack of storage facilities while Tabika KEMAS Kampung Keda kept biscuits on a shelf next to paint spray cans.

He said the ministry was taking a serious view of the issues highlighted in the report and action would be taken so that the mistakes would not be repeated.

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