MALACCA: A total of 4,488 units of the Industrial Skills Training Programme (PLKP) training equipment managed by the Malacca State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) were not used at optimum level while 680 units of equipment worth RM240,000 could not be detected.
According to the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report Series 1, based on audits conducted from Nov 2018 to Feb this year, there was also a claim of RM1.05 million which was approved without complete supporting documents, risk of overpayment of fees to teaching staff and acquisition of assets not in accordance with financial procedures.
“Among the main weaknesses of the PLKP management was there was no formal agreement between UPEN and MISDEC (Malacca Industrial Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Centre) as the implementing entity to set the programme direction and implementation approach in achieving the objectives set.
“As a result, the equipment were not optimised and there was a surplus of instructors which ultimately affected the average training cost per trainee,“ according to the report tabled in Parliament today.
The report also noted that there was a significant increase in the average expenditure cost per graduate from RM10,870 to RM76,652 per person, which was a 605.2% hike, and it was also found that hydraulic training kit supplies amounting to RM50,000 were bought without approval and not according to the Group Trust Fund procurement procedures.
In addition, the audit conducted on PLKP’s performance found that the training programmes implemented did not achieve its full objective in producing marketable graduates as only 81 trainees, or 49.7% of the 163 trainees who successfully completed training went to gain employment.
“The remaining 50.3% of graduates were offered employment but rejected the offer as they chose to further their education or were not interested in the offer,“ the report said.
Checks also found that intake of trainees during the audit period failed to meet its target as only 101 trainees were enrolled in the programme as compared to the target of 150.
To address these weaknesses and to ensure the same problems do not recur, the report recommended that UPEN prepare a formal agreement with MISDEC to determine a clear direction of the training programme in line with the government’s requirements and to comply with financial procedures, programme planning and implementation.
UPEN was also recommended to take proactive steps in raising more public awareness on the PLKP courses being offered and to investigate the overpayment of instructors’ fees as well as on the equipment which could not be traced. — Bernama