September 10, 2007 oleh zamrimohamad
Tajuknya, Paying through the nose for tools.
Saya membaca sekali lalu laporan berita oleh Royce Cheah, Elizabeth Looi dan Manjit Kaur. Mereka mendedahkan harga alat-alat teknikal yang dibekalkan oleh kerajaan kepada Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN)
Seni melaporkan yang menarik, dimulakan dengan soalan.
Would you pay RM224 for a set of four screwdrivers?
Haeqal tergelak. Siapa pula yang meluluskan kontrak pembekalan barang dengan harga tidak logik ini. Jika dibeli sendiri pun harganya sekitar RM40. Pemutar skru jenama apa pula dengan harga sedemikian. Lainlah jika ia menggunakan kuasa elektrik seperti BOSCH.
Apa impaknya laporan berita ini?
Orang akan tertanya-tanya siapa yang menjalankan urusan ini, bagaimana ia dijalankan, adakah individu yang diberi tanggungjawab tahu apa yang beliau lakukan.
Laporan ini mencipta persepsi pada mata masyarakat. Persepsi adalah proses kepercayaan yang timbul melalui apa yang dilihat, didengar dan disampaikan serta maklumat yang dimiliki.
Saya yakin, isu yang diketengahkan oleh tiga orang wartawan The Star ini akan dijawab bagi mencipta persepsi baru.
Mengapa ada pembaziran sebanyak RM8.39 juta?
Atau sekurang-sekurangnya menjawab, mengapa 17 set buku teknikal pada harga RM417 setiap satu menjadi RM10,700 setiap set?
PETALING JAYA: Would you pay RM224 for a set of four screwdrivers?
Probably not, but that was what the Government paid to supply tools for students at the eight National Youth Skills Institutes (IKBN) around the country, according to the Auditor-General’s (AG) report.
The Star shopped around and found this set of Stanley screwdrivers. They cost RM32.80. For the RM224.94 set.
The AG said the screwdrivers had a market price of RM40 and according to pictures in the report, resembled the average Philips screwdrivers you could buy in any hardware shop.
And it does not stop there – the AG went a step further by examining the prices paid for 12 other tools and equipment bought for the IKBN project, comparing it with market prices when the procurement was done in late 2002.
Among these were technical books consisting 10 titles that had a price tag of RM10,700 and a 3.1 megapixel digital camera that was bought for RM8,254.
For the 13 items that the report highlighted, the Government paid RM8.39mil more than the market price at that time.
According to the report, consultants for the Youth and Sports Ministry had reached an estimated price tag of RM399.67mil for the equipment for the IKBN project which later ballooned to RM767.98mil after two appeals by the ministry for additional allocations.
“The ministry said more money was needed in anticipation of a bigger student population and that getting equipment from the same supplier meant prices would remain the same.
“But there was no proof that market research was done to identify the prices of the items and equipment because minutes for the negotiation meetings were not prepared,” the report said.
It said without the minutes, the auditing team was unable to find out if efforts were made to reduce prices.
The AG also said that the ministry’s secretary-general (KSU) had signed off 11 contracts worth between RM7.99mil and RM74.2mil that were related to the IKBN project, on behalf of the Government.
“The KSU only has the authority to sign contracts worth less than RM5mil. Anything larger should be signed by the minister or someone to whom the authority has been given.
“However, during the audit, no such letter giving the authority to the KSU presented itself,” the report said.
The report said there were also discrepancies such as one supplier being paid more than the other for exactly the same equipment.
One example the AG highlighted showed one supplier getting RM1.24mil more than the other for identical engineering equipment.