03 January 2008

Yearly accountability index proposed

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The accountability index introduced for government officials this year should be provided yearly, Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) said.

In welcoming the move by the Auditor-General to have the index, TI-M president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the index should be strongly followed up with annual checks and stricter ratings.

He said a fifth ranking system for “bad performance” should be added to the four levels of ranking system for the ministries, state governments and statutory bodies for their management of public funds.

“A fifth ranking should be added for those scoring below 30% to reflect the seriousness of this rating system.

“The ratings should be done annually for all agencies, and not just once every three years, to correct mismanagement,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Navaratnam also said the proposal to correlate the promotion of secretaries-general and department heads to their respective financial performance index would help ensure accountability in the stewardship of public finds and bring comfort to taxpayers.

On the requirement that financial management and development committees be closely monitored by department heads, Navaratnam said the development committees should meet monthly and not quarterly, to ensure the implementation of projects was monitored more effectively.

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