Its executive director Cynthia Gabriel is perplexed that JITN’s role is thus far shrouded in secrecy

KUALA LUMPUR: Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) demanded the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) to reveal its functions following the decision to replace 47 MACC officials in various ministries and agencies with JITN personnel.

“It is supremely clear from section 2 of the MACC Act that the MACC has the prerogative to promote the integrity and accountability of the public sector—but what about JITN?” questioned C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

“Unlike the MACC, JITN is not governed by an Act. Why are their roles and responsibilities not made known?

“Will this be another public relations exercise and a waste of public funds?”

Cynthia said this following the government’s decision to replace MACC officials with JITN personnel with the reason that it was part of the government’s transformation plan.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low in justifying the government’s decision said MACC officials would continue to serve at the various agencies as investigation officers.

The move to replace MACC staff with JITN staff was also questioned by the former chairman of MACC’s panel on corruption prevention and consultation, Ramon Navaratnam.

He  told Berita Daily that the government needed to explain the matter to the public who may construe the action as the government going slow on corruption in light of the coming general election.

Cynthia also said that there might be an overlap in the functions of JITN and MACC.

“The seeming conflict between the two agencies make extremely unclear of what the government actually intends to do, and if there is actual overlap in function or not.”

She further suggested that JITN should do the following in public reform to complement MACC instead of taking over MACC’s role.

– Strengthening the independence of various state institutions such as the MACC, judiciary, the attorney-general and the auditor-general’s offices;

– Ensuring greater transparency, ending secrecy policies and working towards a Federal freedom of information law

– Implementing budget and expenditure transparency at all levels of government.

– Improving procurement policies, awarding of tenders and accountable project implementation.

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