Sunday, September 27

Work ethics, integrity of MACC officers greatly improved — Complaints Committee chief

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KOTA SAMARAHAN: The ‘zero tolerance’ policy of the Complaints Committee in dealing with misconduct has greatly improved work ethics and integrity of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) workforce.

Since its establishment in 2009, the committee had only dealt with disciplinary cases involving less than one per cent of the 2,700 MACC staff and personnel nationwide, said Complaints Committee chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot.

He described the overall integrity of staff as encouraging, with performance at a satisfactory level. While there were cases of wrongdoing, it involved a small number and none of the officers had been involved in serious criminal charges including graft or abuse of power.

The last three years have seen 16 officers expelled for wrongdoing – six in July this year, four last year and six in 2014 – in cases that were merely disciplinary issues and non-criminal such as absent without leave, court cases and those who had tarnished the image of the agency.

“Efforts have continuously been taken by the top management of MACC to ensure that the agency constantly acts in an excellent and professional manner when discharging its duties and responsibilities. The principles of ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘whiter than white’ are the bedrock of the commission which led to the increase in level of accountability and integrity among the MACC workforce.

“All complaints lodged against MACC officers will be acted upon immediately with severity of the cases taken into account. These past six years, the number of misconduct are very small, less than one per cent, but it is normal for a black sheep to exist within any organisation,” he told reporters after closing the MACC’s integrity course at the state’s National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) headquarters here yesterday.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (Management and Professionalism) Datuk Seri Mohd Jamidan Abdullah was also present. A total of 48 staff and officers attended the three-day course.

Baya added that the Complaints Committee is part of the MACC check-and-balance mechanism as prescribed in Section 15(1) of the MACC Act 2009.

The committee’s role is to ensure that MACC executes its functions efficiently and effectively, particularly in overseeing the conduct of its officers.

It is also responsible for identifying weaknesses in work procedures that may have led to complaints of misconduct against MACC officers and subsequently proposing recommendations in accordance with the work procedures of the agency.

Mohd Jamidan praised the committee for improving discipline among officers.

Among the notable recommendations of the Complaints Committee was the setting-up of video interviewing rooms (VIR) to ensure the safety of suspects and witnesses engaging with MACC officers, including several standing orders and office procedures.

“We conducted courses to improve our interview approaches including collaboration with (New) Scotland Yard. Improvement in the level of accountability and professionalism of MACC officers is reflected in the statistics which showed no complaints on the use of force during investigations in the past few years,” he said.

Mohd Jamidan added that the agency also trained auxiliary police personnel to ensure safety of witnesses during investigation and court appearance. The committee had recommended numerous new systems and procedures to improve the agency’s service and enforcement, he said further.

He mentioned that the committee was also influential in enabling the agency to recruit new enforcement officers and currently, it is processing some 180 new applications.