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“Funds were managed in accordance to approved guidelines” – defends former SEDIC DG Rajendran

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Kuala Lumpur – Breaking his silence on the SEDIC fund disbursement row, former Director General of SEDIC Datuk Dr N.S.Rajendran in a press statement, has defended that SEDIC funds were managed according to approved guidelines during his tenure.

The following is the full text of his press statement:

“The Unit for the Socio-economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC) started its operations in September 2014 with the main aim of supporting and funding strategic intervention programs to uplift the B40 in the Indian Community. In 2014, SEDIC evaluated and disbursed funds to non-governmental organizations (NGO) based on the existing procedures.

However, under the instruction of the former Prime Minister, SEDIC produced a comprehensive grant management system and obtained the approval of the Prime Minister on 6 June 2015. Since then, the comprehensive grant management system has been used to evaluate and approve all proposals from NGOs or Institut Latihan Kemahiran Swasta (ILKS) for funds under SEDIC. It must be reiterated that all funds allocated to SEDIC have been processed, evaluated and approved using these guidelines where they were put through the 5 levels of evaluation and finally obtaining the approval of the Prime Minister before the funds were disbursed. It must also be made clear that SEDIC should not be held responsible for other forms of funding approved by the government and disbursed via other government agencies for the benefit of the Indian Community.

SEDIC as a government entity under the Prime Minister’s Department operated using the standard government procedures, both in terms of administrative and financial procedures. SEDIC’s operations were also audited in 2017 by the Audit Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department. It has to be admitted that there were recommendations made for improvements to be made in terms of monitoring and record keeping. The Auditor-General’s Report which was tabled in Parliament on July 15th, once again, has highlighted the need to improve those aspects. Actions were taken in the past to address these issues, including improving the effectiveness of the SEDIC’s monitoring system, blacklisting and taking actions on those NGOs and ILKS which were found to have not carried out the activities as has been stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Over the years, more than 800 NGOs and ILKS received funds for various programmes across the country to help improve the status of B40 in the Indian Community. Among the groups given special importance include pre-school students, students from primary and secondary schools, single mothers, youth at-risk and school dropouts. More than 500,000 members of the Indian community, especially those coming from the B40 group, have participated and benefited from these programmes.

From the monitoring of the implementation by SEDIC, it must be stated here again that the majority of the NGOs and ILKS implemented the programs using the guidelines approved as well as the MOU signed. It is very unfair to state that all funds that have been allocated to SEDIC have been misused and that the funds did not benefit the target groups. It has become clear from SEDIC’s monitoring and Audit Department’s scrutiny that there were some who have misused the funds and did not comply with the terms of the MOUs.

The Audit-General’s Report has now been presented in Parliament. The findings and recommendations would be taken up by the relevant government agencies, including investigating and taking actions on parties who have been found to have misused the funds. The SEDIC administration and the staff are duty-bound and willing to provide all assistance as required for the follow-up actions. We fully support the move to take appropriate actions on any individual or organization that has found to have misused the funds.”

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