C4 Center holds dialogue among stakeholders in move towards best possible procurement system

Photo courtesy of C4 Center

PETALING JAYA, June 28 – A three-day introductory public procurement workshop and dialogue was recently organised by the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as part of efforts towards developing the best possible public procurement in the country.

In a statement issued here today, C4 Center said the workshop, which brought together key stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, the Finance Ministry and Parliament, was in sync with the Malaysian Government’s plan to introduce a new Procurement Act with extensive consultation and public input.

“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,” said Pushpan Murugiah, Acting CEO of C4 Center.

Participants identified good practices that should be included in a draft Procurement Bill – Freedom of Information provisions; extensive and diverse consultations; media engagement; the harmonization 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 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC),” said Ms Annika Wythes, 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 many inputs that were received during the past three days will provide strong starting points in terms of identifying baseline core principles in the drafting of Procurement Bill that takes into account the views and expectations of the many stakeholders,” the anti-corruption entity said.

C4 Center also urged the government to follow through with the tabling of the Procurement Act as announced by the Prime Minister at the next parliamentary sitting, while reiterating its readiness to continuously engage with relevant government agencies such as the Finance Ministry and the Legal Affairs Department of the Prime Minister’s Office in order 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 UNODC’s integrity work under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentary–Civic Partnership to Combat Corruption Project. This is in partnership with East-West Management Institute, Inc. (EWMI) and the Parliamentary Centre of Asia (PCAsia).