Tourism Ministry investigates pamphlet rack purchase

(Bernama) – The Tourism Ministry is investigating the purchase of 1,000 units of metal pamphlet rack for Visit Malaysia Year 2007 which, according to the Auditor-General’s Report 2010, was valued at RM1.95 million.

In a statement here today, ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng said an investigation committee was established on Oct 5, and that a full investigation report would be submitted to him on Nov 18.

However, he clarified that the Finance Ministry had approved payment of RM1.7 million for the purchase of 873 units of rack which were delivered, contrary to the report which stated that the purchase of 1,000 units of pamphlet rack was made through direct negotiation without approval from the Finance Ministry.

The report had also said the Auditor-General’s Office could not confirm whether the pamphlet racks were completely distributed with tourism pamphlets.

Touching on the ministry’s 2009 and 2010 advertising activities, Dr Ong clarified the direct booking of advertisement slots had helped save the commission paid to the agency (15% of the media purchase cost) totalling RM19.93 million in 2009, and RM9.2 million last year, as compared to using the service of advertising agency appointed through open tender.

“The move also helped the Tourism Promotion Board to plan its expenditure plan for 2009 and 2010, for better financial management and reduced its accumulated deficit,” he said. – Bernama