To help achieve the Malaysian government’s announcement of introducing a new procurement act with extensive consultation and public input, the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) brought together key stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, the Ministry of Finance and Parliament for a three-day introductory public procurement workshop and dialogue recently.
“Having finance ministry representatives engaged in mutual dialogue with procurement stakeholders is an important step in making the journey of developing the best possible procurement system based on principles of transparency and integrity for Malaysia achievable,” C4 Center acting CEO Pushpan Murugiah said.
Participants identified good practices that should be included in a draft procurement bill – freedom of information provisions; extensive and diverse consultations; media engagement; the harmonisation between state and federal procurement processes; effective and robust e-procurement systems, among others.
“Participants can share experiences and policy thinking on the public procurement challenges and gaps, and how to align reforms with Article 9 (Public procurement and management of public finances) of the UN Convention against Corruption,” said Annika Wythes, the UNODC Asia and Pacific anti-corruption adviser.
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism has also been actively engaged with officials from the Ministry of Finance to look at drafting a comprehensive procurement act. The considerable input that was received over three days will provide strong starting points in terms of identifying baseline core principles in the drafting of a procurement bill that takes into account the views and expectations of the many stakeholders.
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C4 Center urges the government to follow through with the tabling of the procurement act, as announced by the prime minister, at the next parliamentary sitting. C4 reiterates its readiness to continuously engage with relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Finance and the legal affairs department of the prime minister’s office to assist in drafting a strong bill that sufficiently addresses the current loopholes and shortcomings of the public procurement system.
The Malaysian procurement dialogue is part of the UNODC’s integrity work under the Asean parliamentary–civic partnership to combat corruption project. This is in partnership with the East-West Management Institute, Inc and the Parliamentary Centre of Asia (PCAsia). – C4 Center