Putrajaya is expected to table a new bill to curb wastages in public procurement next July, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
In a parliamentary reply dated last Thursday, Lim said that the Procurement Bill will ensure transparent and professional practice in governmental expenditure.
"This is in line with our principles, including public accountability, transparent management, value for money, open tender and fairness," he said.
Hassan Abdul Karim (Harapan-Pasir Gudang) had asked the finance minister if a new bill would be formulated to rectify weaknesses in existing procurement systems that leave it exposed to corruption.
Besides improving the management of public procurement, Lim expressed his hope that the bill will strengthen the country's fiscal position.
He added that new elements – including a check and balance process in the form of a complaints mechanism for suppliers and the public – will also be included in the bill.
"For those who are found to be negligent and in violation of the regulations, elements of punitive action will be introduced.
"While for those who abuse power and are corrupt, action will be taken under the MACC Act 2009," he said.
Lim said that the government is still in the midst of engaging stakeholders for feedback on the bill.
Wastages incurred in procurement have been a concern over the years due to massive losses of public funds.
Civil society watchdogs have repeatedly called for the government to establish a mechanism to curb such leakages.
In Budget 2019, the Pakatan Harapan announced that it would introduce a new law to regulate public procurement.