7:16PM Oct 13, 2011
The government's motive in withholding the Auditor-General's Report, even though it had been compiled weeks before Budget 2012 was presented, was questioned today by Pakatan Rakyat MPs.
Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani) told reporters he called the Auditor-General's Office yesterday to check on the report and was told that it had already been submitted to the relevant authority.
"The office said the report had been completed much earlier than last year's report, and the officers there were proud because they had done a better job... but copies of the reports are not here in Parliament," Johari (left) said.
"When I told them the MPs didn't get the report, they were shocked... so, where is the report?" he asked. "How can we discuss the budget further when we don't know how this year's allocations were spent?"
Johari felt the report might have been withheld as the content "may not be to the liking" of certain parties.
Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar of PAS said some states have received copies of the report, but not the Parliament.
The Auditor-General's Report details the country's expenditure, debt and discrepancies as well as assessments on its fiscal health.
"There are some states that have got a copy of the report, but Parliament has not received it," said Mahfuz
Kamaruddin Jaafar (PAS-Tumpat), who also sits on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), demanded the immediate release of the report to allow the MPs to be better prepared for debates on the Budget.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz had earlier announced that the report would be released in two weeks' time, after the cabinet goes through it on Friday.
Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff of PKR said the government' was statutorily bound to submit the report to Parliament.
The MPs added that they were considering tabling a motion in Parliament to coerce the government to release the report.