Low: JITN's focus is 'transformation', not control

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The soon-to-be-formed National Integrity and Management Department (JITN) does not seek to control government agencies, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low clarified today.

Low said the JITN, which has been approved by cabinet, will focus on administrative issues, delivery and governance, among others, as part of Putrajaya's Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

This, he said, would allow government agencies, such as the MACC, to focus on their core functions without being bogged down by administrative issues.

"We never said JITN will control any government agency. JITN's basic job is to implement transformations to improve governance, integrity and compliance with human rights standards.

"To do that, we have to institutionalise (JITN) because transformation will take many years," Low said.

In the case of enforcement agencies such as the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), the Public Complaints Bureau (BPA) and the MACC, he said the JITN would help these departments on transformation efforts.

"They are independent agencies. If they need help, for example with resources or legislative matters, JITN will be there for them. JITN's job is not to interfere," he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Low was responding to MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad, who slammed the move to set up JITN and went on to chide the minister for saying that JITN would ensure that MACC properly investigates corruption cases and charges perpetrators effectively.

Dzulkifli also questioned why there was a need to form JITN at a time when Putrajaya was implementing austerity measures by slashing funds for government agencies.

According to Low's press release yesterday, following the cabinet meeting, JITN's core functions were to institutionalise good governance, integrity and human rights compliance.

"This transformation initiative will require enforcement agencies, such as the MACC, to strengthen and focus on their core function, to ensure abuses in corruption are investigated thoroughly and also to ensure effective charges are made leading to successful prosecution," Low said in the statement.

He said JITN would also facilitate engagement with civil society organisations, including business groups, to improve governance and human rights in the non-government sector.

The establishment of JITN is currently being finalised by the Public Service Department.

Consultation efforts with relevant agencies are also underway to ensure there is no duplication in functions.

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