When a government department can accept gift in Malaysia

March 29th, 2008 - 12:32 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 29 (IANS) Malaysian government offices can accept gifts from companies and private parties after respective secretaries-general approve of it, according to new rules. In a recent circular issued by the Public Service Department, director-general Ismail Adam said secretaries-general, who are also the controlling officers, were authorised to approve gifts, including those valued at more than RM 10,000 (nearly $3,000).

But the gift has to be voluntary, unsolicited and useful to the department or the country and must be in kind. Anything in cash must be dealt with immediately with a trust fund set up, said the New Straits Times.

Previously, gifts worth more than RM 10,000 had to be approved by the treasury.

Several conditions, however, must be met before the secretaries-general give such approvals.

Among others, Ismail said, the gifts should be freely given, without any conditions attached.

Those presenting the gifts must also not have any connections or interests in the government.

Ismail said the gifts, including equipment, must be new and spare parts should be available in the market in case of a breakdown.

“The gifts must be given voluntarily and not on the request or demand made by the departments or agencies.

“Government departments are barred from soliciting presents or donations from other parties, organisations or individuals,” the circular stated.

Ismail reminded secretaries-general that they should ensure the gifts were used in accordance with the wishes of the donors.

All gifts approved should be noted down in the departments’ inventories.

Corruption was a major issue during this month’s general elections. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked his ministers and government officials to stay away from anything that smacks of corruption and behave in an exemplary manner.

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