Author Topic: Human Resources Ministry fund in multi-million ringgit contract scandal  (Read 3041 times)

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Offline mayya

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Human Resources Ministry fund in multi-million ringgit contract scandal

Last updated on 11/05/2014 - 16:38
10/05/2014 - 08:00

The ant daily team

KUALA LUMPUR: The well-endowed Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) has come under scrutiny for alleged irregularities in the award of a multi-million ringgit contract to a little-known college.

Sources said the lucrative contract to certify “skilled” workers was farmed out to Bena College, which has no track record in this area.

A 45-page report detailing the alleged wrongdoings had been sent to the higher-ups, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the sources said.

Among other things, the report questioned why no tender was called for the project despite the huge amount involved.
PSMB, an agency under the Human Resources Ministry, administers the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), which manages about RM1 billion in mandatory employer contributions for human capital development.

Recently, the government announced a RM400 million allocation for upskilling and reskilling programmes which cover the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Malaysian Skills Certificate (MSC) programmes, among others.
The report claimed that the ministry had approved accreditation based on a separate module from the one traditionally recognised by the Department of Skills Development (DSD).

In the past, skilled workers who lacked paper qualifications in their areas of expertise could apply to the department to have their skills accredited under the RPL programme.

Depending on their levels of proficiency, applicants would be awarded the MSC, levels one to five.
Now, Bena College has been awarded the contract to assess so-called “skilled” workers based on standards that were much lower than DSD’s.

The college was recently approved as a training provider under the Department of Human Resources.
Under the programme, the college would train “assessors” during a one-day workshop. After that the assessors would scout for “skilled” workers but without paper qualifications to be certified.
PSMB would pay an assessor RM300 for each worker certified and the certification would be issued by the Great Britain College Consortium (GBCC), which comprises four colleges in the UK and is believed linked to Bena College.
Bena had recently advertised in a leading newspaper that it was recruiting assessors who had to pay RM400 to attend a one-day workshop on how to do RPL assessment.

The Heat reported that a training company representative who attended the workshop said it only lasted a couple of hours, and the assessment was too simplistic.

“Everyone in the industry knows it’s a scam. The assessor can simply find anyone on the street and fill up a questionnaire. The standard for recognising the ‘skills’ is very low, so practically everyone ends up being certified, unlike the DSD certification,” a source familiar with the operations claimed.

“If an assessor can find 100 people to be certified each month, he would make RM30,000 every month. In a year, that’s RM360,000. If you have 100 assessors, PSMB would need to fork out RM360 million a year. On top of that, PSMB still needs to pay GBCC for each certified worker,” the source added.

It is learnt that while the certification offered by the GBCC is not recognised by the Malaysian government, it could be used as an entry requirement for further studies in one of the four colleges that made up the consortium.
“That by itself is a questionable arrangement,” the source added.

“Why do we not use the DSD module which had been used all this while? And why is the certification recognised in only the four colleges overseas? There are many questions left unanswered.”

The whole exercise is said to have been conceived with Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem’s knowledge.