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AG's Report: RM2b spent on school security favoured firms, not schools

Posted: 30 Sep 2013 09:33 PM PDT
The audit on 35 schools uncovered that 129 security guards did not meet the minimum requirements of the contract, with nine security guards exceeding the age limit (59 to 72 years old), eight who were above 55 years old could not produce a health report by a government hospital to prove that there are fit for duty; and 76 were not cleared of criminal records by the police station or the Home Ministry.


Azril Annuar, 
PETALING JAYA (Oct 1): The Auditor-General's Report 2012 has uncovered that the RM2 billion spent on nationwide school security seem to favour the security firms instead of the schools.
With the huge amount of money being spent by the Education Ministry to ensure the safety of the nation's school children and premises, one would expect far better record keeping and an airtight contract from the government.
Not only did the contracts seem lopsided, there was also a tremendous amount of poor record keeping by the schools and the security firms as well as undelivered services by contractors.
Up till the end of 2012, 795 security firms were engaged and awarded contracts to patrol and protect schools nationwide, with the total cost amounting to RM2.052 billion.
The findings of the report in three states – Selangor, Sabah and Perlis – involving 35 schools and boarding schools from June 2012 till Sept 2012 have pointed out the following:
* inconsistent contract management with late submission for the performance bonds, and contracts signed without the performance bonds;
* unclear contract terms without concrete specifications on equipment such as watchman clock, CCTV installation and alarm systems as well as the lack of security guard profiles since it would only be submitted upon request by the school authorities;
* non-compliance to contracts such as security personnel exceeding the age limit, non-submission of health and security reports on the personnel, lack of security guard daily attendance record, non-compliance on dress code, lack of equipment and damaged equipment;
* unsatisfactory services where there was no entry and exit control, inconsistent recording of the watchman clock, inadequate security guards and no punitive measures; and
* inconsistent payment claims where the implementation services report was incomplete but payment was approved and paid.
The report said the government should have warned or cancelled the contracts awarded to companies that have failed to submit their performance bonds.
"This non-compliance can result in the government's interest not being protected properly and can affect monthly payment claims." 
On security equipment such as the watchman clock, the audit has uncovered that there was no specified number of watchman clock that the security firms must provide, but it was an agreement between the respective schools and the respective contractors.
Generally, the companies agreed to provide four watchman clocks to be installed in strategic areas, disregarding the size of each school which could lead to inadequate patrols around the schools.
The audit also pointed out that the government should not have granted such freedom to the security firms regarding the watchman clock to ensure proper adequate patrols, especially for schools located in high-risk areas.
The report also found that the alarm systems and CCTVs provided to the schools can be determined by each security firm as the contract did not include in detail the quantity, brand, specifications and the location to install the systems.
Touching on the profiles of the security guards employed at the schools, the AG's Report revealed that out of the 35 school premises audited, 26 (74%) involving 18 security firms failed to produce the biodata of 76 security guards.
This entails a security risk for the schools as it cannot determine who will be safeguarding the school premises.
There were also breaches of contract regarding the age and physical health of the security guards.
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