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MCMC audit finds about RM4.8m spent on big data and predictive analytics

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was recently found to have spent RM12.81 million between 2016 to 2018, and about RM4.8 million covered predictive analytics and big data analytics.

According to the latest Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Series 1, MCMC spent RM4.75 million to procure a big data analytics system named MyInsight System on 17 April 2018 before the 14th Malaysian General Elections, and another RM104,679 was spent on predictive analytics for the Sungai Besar by-election on 27 July 2016. In particular, the report said that the payment made for the 2016 by-election at Sungai Besar was made to conduct special studies through field research activities and online monitoring on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, as proposed by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department.

Meanwhile, other unrelated projects included RM100,000 spent as part of a donation for 50,000 copies of former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s books on 22 February 2018.

According to the report, audit checks found that MCMC does not require commission members to grant approval for special projects. Specifically, the report added that there was no clear approval of the target group for MCMC’s CSR initiatives, the relevance of MCMC’s services to the CSR initiatives as well as the type of payment made for the CSR, whether in cash or in kind. Also, the operating procedure for directing funds to third parties has yet to be finalised, the audit report said.

MCMC has decided to discontinue the CSR initiatives and not allocate any funds from its annual budget to this segment. The report added that it will not entertain any solicitation of funds from third parties without the consent of its commission members. Also, MCMC said in the report that moving forward, it will ensure that expenses appeals from the commission will be further refined to be in line with MCMC’s powers and functions as stipulated in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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