To allow the public to report departmental misconduct, Sarawak’s first supervisory committee to be established

To allow the public to report departmental misconduct, Sarawak’s first supervisory committee to be established

(Kuching, 20th) Sarawak leads the country and becomes the first region to set up a supervisory committee!

The Sarawak House of Representatives this afternoon passed the Sarawak Supervisory Committee Bill 2023, which aims to establish a supervisory committee to allow the public to report misconduct by government departments to the committee, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability. Under relevant laws, the Head of State will appoint the Chief Ombudsman, Deputy Chief Ombudsman and 3 to 5 ombudsmen with relevant professional knowledge and experience for a maximum term of 3 years, and re-election is allowed.

The Sarawak Oversight Committee Bill 2023 was tabled by Datuk Amar Awang Tengah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Trade and Investment, and seconded by Datuk Amar Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government. .

Awang Tengah pointed out that the office of the Ombudsman Board will be managed by a Chief Administrator appointed by the minister, and the Ombudsman will not be subject to civil or criminal proceedings when performing his duties. The committee oversees civil servants, local councils, statutory bodies of the Sarawak government and government-linked companies. Its powers include handling, investigating and resolving complaints, including rejecting baseless or malicious complaints.

He said the duties of the Ombudsman also include recommending corrective or preventive measures to be taken by Sarawak public service agencies, formulating reports on mismanagement of public service agencies and investigating relevant places where complaints have been received. The Oversight Committee will report directly to the Sarawak Assembly to ensure that the results of the investigation are transparent and accessible to the public.

“People’s representatives can supervise the supervisory committee, reflecting the independence of the supervisory committee and free from interference from political or other factors.”

The Chief Ombudsman may establish a committee of inquiry

He emphasized that if necessary, the Chief Ombudsman can establish an investigation committee and appoint relevant committee members to handle complaints. During the investigation, if the relevant person intentionally provides false information, ignores summons, exerts undue influence, intentionally obstructs the investigation, defies the inspector or makes a false confession, he may be fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 upon conviction. Fine, imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years, or both.

In addition, Awang Tengah also confirmed in his summary that the laws of the Sarawak Commission of Control also cover Sarawak government-linked companies.

Sarawak public servant system to be restructured tomorrow

On the other hand, the Sarawak Civil Service will be reorganized starting next year and will have new functions.

Sarawak Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said today when presenting the 2024 Sarawak Budget in the Sarawak State Assembly that the Sarawak government is currently conducting a study on the functions and structure of the Sarawak civil service, which is expected to be completed soon.

He noted that this shift was in response to the rapidly developing and changing environment and to increase trust and confidence in the Sarawak government.

He said that the Sarawak government will allocate RM1.5 million to restructure the civil service system to improve the knowledge, efficiency, rapid response and proactiveness of civil servants. This year, the Sarawak government has also sent officials to famous foreign institutions of higher learning such as Harvard University, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, and Melbourne Business School for training.

At the same time, Abang Johari said that the Sarawak government will allocate RM20 million next year for capacity building of civil servants. Among other things, the Sarawak state government recognized the dedication of civil servants and retirees and approved several employee initiatives this year.

He said this included medical incentives for private hospitals or clinics, enhancement of government loan scheme facilities and provision of medical facilities for parents of retired public servants.


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