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Monday, November 5, 2007

PAC wants govt to blacklist errant firms

The Edge Daily (31/10/2007): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the government should blacklist companies involved in the supply of over priced equipment as mentioned in the 2006 Auditor General’s Report.

It’s not logical for companies involved in the supply of equipment to government projects not to be aware of the prices, said the Parliamentary Select Committee’s chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

“By right, they should be aware that the price should be lower, more so when the government is involved,” he told reporters after chairing the Parliamentary Select Committee meeting at Parliament yesterday.

Shahrir added that the government should be bold enough to sacrifice the contracts and supply of equipment and goods from the 11 companies mentioned in the Auditor General’s report.

“Otherwise, there would be no fear shown by such companies (and others) to the government,” he said adding that the suppliers should also be hauled up apart from the buyers and those who received the consignment of the equipment.

Shahrir said the PAC also felt that the decision makers involved in such deals should also be hauled up.

He added that it was not a question of whether the Parliamentary Select Committee was happy or not with the follow-up and progress action, particularly the arrest and charging of eight government officials and two others by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) last week after the 2006 Auditor General Report was made public.

“It should be focused on decision makers,” he said.

Shahrir said the arrests by the ACA only involved those who accepted the delivery of the dubiously priced equipment. “They have much less say on the decision-making and equipment supplied,” he said.

He said the PAC anticipated more arrests of decision makers at the ministry level.


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