27 March 2007

Government bodies told to emulate PM’s Dept

Source : The Star


PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister’s Department has managed to pay vendors within 14 days. Now, all ministries have been directed to do the same.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said 99.72% of vendors supplying goods and services to more than 40 departments and agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department had received payments within 14 days.

In fact, 89.91% of them were paid within seven days, while payments to the remaining vendors were cleared within 16 days.

Previously, vendors supplying goods and services to government departments had to wait three months or more to get their payments despite a 30-day payment deadline.

Mohd Sidek said he had asked all ministry secretaries-general to ensure that departments and agencies under their respective ministries emulate the example set by the PM’s Department.

“Starting this month, the secretaries-general have been asked to submit bi-monthly reports to my office so we can monitor how fast payments are being made,” he said.

Mohd Sidek said staff had to challenge their department heads to beat the 14-day target so that payments could be made even faster.

“Three months ago many people said I was crazy for setting such a target as many were unable to meet even the one-month deadline that was set in October last year.

“So, we at the PM’s Department challenged ourselves to speed up payments and did better than what we set out to do,” he told The Star.

He said his staff simplified procedures and processes and even worked overtime to achieve the target.

“All this was achieved with the same staff strength while the number of vendors also remained the same,” he said.

He said that if three people were needed to approve claims then a way could be found to reduce this number to two or one, without compromising on sound financial procedures.

Mohd Sidek also said some government departments and state government officials were positive about the new target and hoped to match or do better than the PM’s Department.

“The Perak government has set a target to clear all payments within 10 days. So, let us all compete and raise our standards higher and better,” he said.

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