The managing of school construction projects has been found to be inefficient and ineffective based on the scope and audit samples covering the construction of 19 new schools from 2016 to 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.
According to the Auditor-General’s Report 2021 Series 1, this was due to weaknesses at the planning, pre-construction and implementation stages of the projects by the education ministry, consultants and contractors.
"There was also poor coordination with the state governments, local authorities and utility companies, besides the issue of the preparedness of the project sites which contributed to the delay in implementing the projects.
"This situation made the projects’ objectives of accommodating the surplus of students through the building of new schools and having one-session schools difficult to achieve," said the report.
The audit conducted was to evaluate if the management of school construction projects had been properly planned and implemented prudently, efficiently and effectively to achieve its two objectives.
To overcome the weaknesses raised and to ensure that the mistakes are not repeated in the future, the auditor-general proposed that the education ministry conduct engagement sessions with all parties involved at the federal and state levels.
It said the project sites should also be finalised before the projects are tabled for approval by the Economic Planning Unit, to reduce the risk of delays in implementing the projects.
The education ministry must also ensure that the land handed over as an education reserve by the developer is suitable for construction and does not require additional complex groundwork, it said.
The ministry must also streamline the school construction procedures and processes for more organised project management and comply with all current regulations, and conduct a review to identify the current requirements of the scope of school construction projects where the implementation is delayed, the report said.