Media Release: JITN needs to reveal full functions, focus on structural reforms

PETALING JAYA (Friday): The public tensions between the newly formed Jabatan Integriti dan Tadbir Urus Negara (JITN) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) undermines further public confidence in government being able to implement good governance reforms, when the two bodies should be working in tandem.

“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.”
– Cynthia Gabriel, C4 Center

In September 2017, the MACC Chief Commissioner openly stated he disagreed with the formation of the JITN as another anti-corruption body. Yesterday, news broke that MACC officers seconded to government agencies were replaced by in-house integrity officers. However, Paul Low, who spearheads the JITN, said that MACC recalled the officers on their own initiative.

C4 Center believes that there is a real possibility of overlap of function between MACC and the newly established JITN, which may be causing the animosity between both agencies. Such overlap lend credence to the belief that there are many white elephants in government and is a waste of public funds.

“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? Why is their Parliamentary proposal not easily accessible? Why are their roles and responsibilities not made known?” Will this be another public relations exercise and a waste of public funds?
– Cynthia Gabriel, C4 Center

However, there is plenty of much needed public sector reform work that JITN can do, work that complements MACC roles and functions. C4 Center has advocated many a time for a Good Governance Agenda that proposes public sector reforms such as:

  1. Strengthening the independence of various state institutions such as the MACC, judiciary, the attorney-general and the auditor-general’s offices;
  2. Ensuring greater transparency, ending secrecy policies and working towards a Federal freedom of information law;
  3. Implementing budget and expenditure transparency at all levels of government;
  4. Improving procurement policies, awarding of tenders and accountable project implementation.

Since its inception, JITN has not purposefully clarified its roles. It is time to do so.

Released by:
Cynthia Gabriel (Ms.)
Executive Director, C4 Center

In The News

The Malaysian Insight, "Pertindihan Bidang Kuasa SPRM, JITN bakal cetus konflik, kata aktivis"
FMT News, "Tell us what you’re all about, C4 tells Putrajaya’s new integrity dept"
Berita Daily, "C4 bombards JITN over role in combating corruption"