YB Senator Datuk Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for Governance, Integrity and Human Rights chaired the 9th National JITU (Jawatankuasa Integriti dan Tadbir Urus ) meeting on Thursday 18 May 2017
Present were representatives from all federal ministries and state governments together with supporting agencies to discuss current issues related to governance and integrity (G&I) in the public sector.
Based on Arahan PM #1 issued in June 2014, JITU aims to discuss and monitor solutions for the main G&I issues identified by the integrity units established across federal ministries and state governments over the past few years. The JITU secretariat is led by Bahagian Integriti dan Tadbir Urus (BITU), a unit within JPM which reports functionally to the Minister.
Among matters discussed at today’s meeting was the implementation of a robust Integrity Pact (IP) for all government projects. This new IP will allow for suitably qualified external monitors to be appointed from within and outside the government to monitor the progress and identify potential governance risks in government projects. In addition, successful contractors must show they have systems in place to mitigate corruption risk. For now our emphasis will be on projects which have a direct impact on the rakyat such as highways and hospitals. The Attorney General’s Chambers is currently drafting the IP.
The meeting also endorsed the finding of the Community Integrity Building (CIB) pilot project conducted at 3 sites last year. The CIB project aims to empower citizens to monitor the projects undertaken by their local town council and report any actions which do not comply with the agreed SLAs. Conducted at Subang Jaya, Bandar Melaka and Ajil in Terengganu, the results showed improvements in the overall performance of the appointed contractors, and the willingness of local residents to play a constructive, proactive role in the monitoring the service delivery within their neighbourhood. The pilot also demonstrated citizens’ willingness to be involved and responsible in ensuring promised governance standards are met. It empowers and allows them a direct say in governance at the local level. Today’s meeting agreed to expand the CIB scope to all states nationwide, with at least 1 site to be identified per state.
Another important area which was discussed was the conducting of the Corruption Risk Management (CRM) exercise for government ministries and agencies. CRM aims to help identify corruption risk areas by priority, and outline mitigating and remedial steps which need to be taken together with timelines and responsibilities. Both the Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs identified common issues on the disbursement of grants to NGOs, wherein monitoring to ensure the grants were used effectively could be improved.
The Melaka government conducted the CRM for 8 state agencies and presented their action plan to address the main risk areas. We have asked for all state governments to follow Melaka’s lead to expand the CRM to their agencies with the highest corruption risk. The Integrity units established at state level will monitor and report the progress of this exercise.
We will continue to identify and monitor G&I issues at the national level via the JITU platform, and work towards instituting a permanent and practical solution.
YB Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department