Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has revealed plans to expand the role and responsibilities of the National Audit Department, potentially assigning it the role of an ombudsman. This transformation would see the department not only continue its traditional auditing duties but also take on additional responsibilities such as monitoring compliance, upholding principles, and preventing corruption, negligence, and financial leakages.
During a session with department staff, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his commitment to exploring avenues to strengthen the National Audit Department’s functions and responsibilities. He emphasized the importance of this proposed expansion and stated, “We will discuss this new role for the National Audit Department at the Cabinet meeting.”
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his satisfaction with the department’s performance in identifying critical issues requiring attention from various government departments and agencies. He reiterated his trust in the department’s ability to fulfill this expanded role effectively.
Furthermore, Anwar vowed to ensure that the audit reports are debated in Parliament this year, providing an opportunity to rectify weaknesses, address violations, and combat abuses of power. He urged ministers, secretaries-general, and directors-general to thoroughly review the reports and take “satisfactory response or actions” based on the findings.
Anwar highlighted the importance of viewing the audit report as a crucial document and not merely as routine paperwork. He encouraged all relevant bodies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Inland Revenue Board, to take the findings seriously.
He also stressed that the Finance Ministry should lead in reviewing the report to ensure compliance among government departments, as neglecting this responsibility could result in recurring mistakes each year. Anwar called for a unified effort across all ministries and agencies, including the Prime Minister’s Department, to provide comprehensive responses to the issues highlighted in the audit report, reinforcing his commitment to transparency and accountability in governance.