PETALING JAYA: The government overpaid a total of RM3.34 million in Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) due to irresponsible recipients cashing their vouchers more than once. The amount was a combination of the total BR1M payment made from 2012 until 2014, the Auditor-General’s Report 2014 Series 1 released today showed. The report stated that a total of 2,188, or 0.05%, recipients for BR1M 2012 cashed their vouchers at least more than once amounting to RM1.11 million, 2,490 (0.04%) recipients for BR1M 2013 amounting to RM1.14 million and 1,899 (0.03%) recipients in the first phase of BR1M 2014 amounted to RM1.09 million. As of Dec 31 last year, 1,555 recipients from BR1M 2012, 1,850 recipients from BR1M 2013 and 1,401 recipients from BR1M 2014 who had double-cashed their vouchers failed to refund the money to the Finance Ministry. The report added from the interview with the coordinating officers in charge of BR1M distribution, it was found that the banks opened an offline mobile counter and only brought the list of recipients, cash money and verification stamp. The payment was given to BR1M recipients through the name list without making further checks thorough the online database, the report said. “This opened up a space for the BR1M recipients to take advantage by cashing their vouchers more than once,” the report added. The report recommended replacing the BR1M voucher with an approval letter for recipients without bank accounts to prevent a recurrence of cashing BR1M vouchers more than once. It also suggested the government should increase awareness among recipients on the requirement to open a bank account to channel cash assistance directly into their account. The payment of BR1M is one of the initiatives under the National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) undertaken by the government in address the issue of cost of living to ease the rakyat’s burden. The government distributed RM2.09 billion cash assistance to 4.2 million recipients in the implementation of BR1M 2012, RM2.83 billion to 6.8 million recipients in BR1M 2013 and RM3.64 billion to seven million recipients in BR1M 2014.