KUALA LUMPUR: The government is set to implement a Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) system as part of its procurement process in the pursuit of good governance practice. Finance Ministry Special Officer Tony Pua said the new budgeting system initiated by the ministry was expected to be implemented this year. “This is a budgeting system where you (ministries and government agencies) start from scratch. You do not go by the previous government’s budgeting structure. “You actually think about what you want to do for next year and write down the budget, this is a breakaway from the old habit. So there are no wastages,” he said at the launch of the Policy Paper on Public Procurement here today. Pua said the current budgeting system implemented by the Barisan Nasional government had created an inflation mechanism. He said even though the ZBB system would be challenging to implement, the ministry would go ahead with it.
“Through this system, the copy and paste method done by the previous government won’t work, thus if we don’t break away from the old method of overbuying and overspending year in and out, it will be a major problem,” he added. The ZBB is a method of budgeting in which all expenses by governmental ministries and its agencies must be justified for each new period of tenders. It also ensure that every function within the government is analysed in terms of needs and costs. Meanwhile, the Policy Paper on Public Procurement launched by The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) stated that the government spends RM150 billion in procuring goods, works and services every year. “This is equivalent to almost one-fifth of Malaysia’s nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product),” the report said. In a nutshell, the report suggested the Finance Ministry follow strictly its own rules and regulations for open tender system. This includes reviewing annual procurement plan for all government agencies and ensuring method of procurement is stated in all projects, the compliance with the requirements for open tender, and finally, establish an internal audit unit on the compliance of procurement policy. The report also suggested that the federal government follow the examples of the Selangor and Penang state governments in constructing a separate and dedicated portal to provide information on public procurement. “This includes notices of request for quotation or tender and their related documents, and the final decisions of all public procurement and establish a one-stop public procurement portal for all federal government ministries and agencies,” it said. – BERNAMA © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd