Saturday, January 24, 2009

TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE

I have all along said that direct negotiations of government contracts will encourage corruption by approving authorities. And just read what Najib has to say about the open tender system (he used the term competitive bidding) as reported by Tim Leonard, published in The Sun Daily recently, produced below.

I would like to hear my readers comments on what Najib has said, and whether is it worth believing or not.

Najib: Implement Competitive Bidding
by Tim Leonard

PUTRAJAYA: Corruption among civil servants can be avoided by implementing competitive bidding on government projects and reducing the use of discretionary authority, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said the government wants less use of discretionary authority among officials in the public sector as this will directly reduce the opportunity for corruption or corrupt practices.

He said allowing competitive bidding for tenders and contracts would significantly reduce the use of such authority by officials. “We should hold on to our integrity and values to support the strengthening of integrity in the procurement system”. Said Najib at the Treasury Department's Quality Day at the Finance Ministry yesterday.

He said Treasury staff should reduce their power to make decisions based on discretionary authority to avoid corruption and achieve higher levels of integrity. Najib said among the ways to reduce discretionary authority was to implement competitive bidding. “Reducing discretionary authority will also help Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his efforts to achieve higher levels of integrity in the country”.

“We must also ensure that ever ringgit spent brings value to the government and the people,” he said.
All expertise and knowledge relating to management of the economy and the country's finance must be consolidated for decisions to be made more accurately.

Najib also urged Finance Ministry staff to look at solving problems in a more creative and innovative manner. “Under the current global economic conditions, we must use our mental capability to come up with more creative ideas,” he said.

He added that efficiency at the Finance Ministry will cause other ministries to also improve their performances, especially matters involving funds to implement projects for development. “The ministry and its staff need to be efficient. As a central agency that serves other ministries, our efficiency will result in others being efficient. Even I often remind myself that I too play a role in the process of efficiency,” he said.

Najib said the coming year will be very challenging for the ministry as the people have high hopes on the government to lessen the impact of a global economic slowdown on the domestic front.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 10.20am on Jan 24, 2009

3 comments:

maurice said...

Civil servants would normally strictly follow the guidelines laid by the MOF as to whether a particular procurement be done on the basis of open/restricted tender or direct negotiation based on certain criterias.

The power of selection is supposedly in the hands of the Secretary General which sits as the Chairman of the Tender Board.For minor procurements the Deputy Secretary General may be delegated as the Chairman.

However, it is an open secret that interferences/interventions by political masters occur as a matter of routine over selection issues in any major/minor Tender Boards.

This happens as result of intense lobbying towards the political master by grassroots politicians for projects in order to generate income for their so-called political activities.Any political master would find it hard to reject their overtures because he relies on their poltical support for power and long-term survival.

Realistically speaking the concept of competitive biddings looks good on paper but difficult to implement by the civil servants in view of our present political culture.

WaliMuar said...

Cakap tak serupa bikin, Najib is going to see more result like Kuala Terengganu soon where raayat will kick him out of office,If Najib is sincere revamp the whole contract procedures in the Government and make it absoulutely transparent.All contract must be awarded on merit and not on favouritism or cronism.

eli said...

Dear Dato’
The Ministry of Defense will not fully implement the directive for sure. The KSU seems to be a strong supporter and a firm believer of direct negotiation.
Off hand, there are three procurement programs that he is pushing for direct negotiation for reasons only best known to him. Reportedly, he is so impressed of the Korean artillery pieces that he is having endless dreams of the weapon and considers it most befitting for the Army. On sub rescue service, it is a known fact that he strongly justified outsourcing through a specific service provider and the Air Force was directed to negotiate for an Aircraft Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ADMI) from the US, while ignoring other suppliers.
Corrupt practices are so blatant and rampant and do we want to believe Najib’s initiative will work?