PAC: MySejahtera App Developer Appointment Breached Government Procedure

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh claims CSR was used as a mechanism to bypass proper procurement procedures and obtain public contracts.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today concluded that the initial appointment of Entomo Malaysia Sdn Bhd (formerly KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd) as MySejahtera developer failed to comply with public procurement procedures.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said apart from the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed by the National Security Council (MKN), on behalf of the government, and Entomo Malaysia, there were no other meeting minutes or supporting documents that can attest to the awarding of the project to Entomo.

Wong went on to claim that the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept was “used as a mechanism” to obtain public contracts without undergoing proper procurement procedures.

“The government seemed to have no choice (stuck) and had to make a decision to appoint MySJ by way of direct negotiation. The continued development and use of the MySejahtera app should remain CSR in nature,” Wong said in a statement.

The PAC’s latest report on MySejahtera described the appointment of Entomo as the MySejahtera developer as unorganised and out of line with government procedures. 

The report highlighted that the CSR deal that had been proposed by Entomo had caused the government to be “unclear” and “confused” about the direction of the acquisition of the MySejahtera app and in the appointment of Entomo, the CSR concept and its duration, as well as ownership of the MySejahtera app. 

The report also noted that nowhere in the NDA was it stated that the CSR period would take effect for one year. 

The PAC also downplayed the government’s claim that it was the owner of the health app, noting that Entomo had acknowledged that it (Entomo) was the legal owner of MySejahtera’s intellectual property (IP). 

“The Cabinet’s decision referring to the government taking control of the MySejahtera application from the developers shows that the application, in principle, is still owned by the developers,” said Wong, who is also Ipoh Timor MP.

It was also noted in the PAC report that as of April 2022, the government has yet to submit an application with MyIPO to register the intellectual property for the app. 

Health secretary-general Harjeet Singh has responded to the report, saying efforts to register the IP for MySejahtera began earlier in March. The MyIPO copyright certificate for MySejahtera was acquired by the Health Ministry on August 2.

MyIPO (Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia) is responsible for the development and management of the intellectual property system in Malaysia and is the body enforcing the Intellectual Property Legislation namely the Trademarks Act 2019, the Patents Act 1983, the Copyright Act 1987, the Industrial Designs Act 1996, the Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000, Geographical Indications Act 2000, and subsidiary regulations.

The PAC has told the government to be more prudent in its approach to all procurement processes. 

“All offers through CSR are welcomed. However, all terms related to CSR offers must be stated clearly, and they cannot be used as an alternative route to direct negotiations. Guidelines should be established for the governance of CSR offers,” the PAC stated.

The PAC recommended that the government review the legitimacy of the initial MySejahtera contract that was made via direct negotiations and that the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) should take over and run the app.

According to the PAC, the government needs to have full ownership of the app to ensure the personal data of its users is protected. The MOH should also continue its efforts to turn the MySejahtera app into a national health management tool.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin earlier said that the MOH is closing in on a deal to take full control of the MySejahtera app. 

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