Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Putrajaya implements 53 cost-cutting measures

Facing economic constraints, Putrajaya has introduced 53 wide-ranging measures to optimise public expenditure, including freezing the hiring of new staff beginning March 1, The Star Online reported. The government also imposed stricter control on overtime, curbs on expenses and slashing a minimum of 30% in spending on government events, according to the Treasury circular "Guidelines on Measures to Optimise Govern­ment Spending" which was posted on the Finance Ministry website. "Regional and global economic developments have affected the financial position of the govern­ment, as revenue collection has been impacted. "To ensure that fiscal targets which have been set are met, measures to optimise government spending are to be implemented across the board so resources can be managed more efficiently and effectively," the circular said. It stated that the creation of new positions was not allowed except in critical areas by redeploying existing staff or using a "trade off" method; and vacant positions not filled for more than two years would be abolished. For overtime, a prior written written approval by the employee's superior is now required. Ministers and deputy ministers' entertainment allowances which were slashed by 10% since January 1, 2014 remain unchanged; but they have been told to cut spending. Ministries are to limit their number of events, conferences, seminars and workshops. Ministers, deputy ministers, ministry secretary-generals and approved department heads can bring only one officer on overseas working visits to countries, where Malaysia has a mission office. In countries without a Malay­sian mission, no more than two officers can be brought along. When travelling, civil servants will be allowed to buy their flight tickets and book their own hotel rooms to get the cheapest rates. All government agencies have also been ordered to cut down the numbers of uniform issued to officers from three to two sets annually. The circular ordered all ministries' secretaries-general, department heads, statutory bodies' heads, chief executives of companies limited by guarantee and other agency heads, who receive allocations from the government to implement the measures. The full list of measures can be viewed at the ministry's website. – March 10, 2016.]]>

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