16 of 24 ministries rated 'excellent' under accountability index assessment

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Malaysia's Auditor-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid said that during 2018, a total of 16 out of 24 ministries achieved the "excellent" level under the National Audit Department's accountability index assessment while eight were rated "good".

Nik Azman said this in the Auditor-General's Report 2018 (series one), which is published today on the National Audit Department's website. According to the report, the National Audit Department had in 2018 audited the financial management in 24 ministries, 17 departments and 13 federal statutory bodies.

Nik Azman said 15 departments were rated "excellent" while two were placed in the "good" category.

Of the 13 federal statutory bodies, three and four entities were rated "excellent" and "good" respectively while five attained the "satisfactory" level, according to him. He said one federal statutory body was placed in the "not satisfactory" list.

"The financial management performance can be improved if officers or department heads not only take action to rectify the weaknesses revealed by auditors but also take preventive action to ensure the weaknesses are not repeated," Nik Azman said.

The National Audit Department made several recommendations to improve the government's financial management. According to Nik Azman, these recommendations include greater involvement among department heads in financial matters and having a system of checks and balances.

"They need to be hands-on in the management (of financial matters)," Nik Azman said.

He said department heads need to create a system of checks and balances and conduct periodical assessments on officers to prevent incompetent ones from using their discretion when making decisions.

For more stories on the AG's Report 2018, click here.