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The high cost of maintenance of vehicles under the Johor State Secretary’s Office (SUK) and Land and Mines Department (PTG) was brought to light in the second series of the 2014 auditor-general’s report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

National news agency Bernama reported that audits carried out between August and November 2013 found a poor level of monitoring and compliance by the appointed workshops, which led to the expense.

A total of RM3.82 million was spent on vehicle maintenance from 2011 to 2013 – PTG paid RM1.04 million on 23 various types of vehicles, while SUK forked out RM2.78 million on 81 various vehicles. In the report, auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said that in that period the cost of maintenance was between 59 and 141% for PTG and 39 and 95% for SUK.

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Payment vouchers from SUK also showed repeated spending on window tints for four vehicles between 2011 and 2013 amounting to RM14,240. In addition, the office was found to have performed multiple tyre changes on six vehicles – with a frequency of between one and 12 months – at a cost of RM49,440.

Private workshop panels reportedly said that tyre changes must be made every 30,000-50,000 km. However, the auditor could not perform an analysis on the rate of tyre changes compared to the distances travelled because the vehicles’ odometer readings in the log books and invoices were not updated.

There were also cases of the same fuel indent cards being used to refuel multiple times in a short period of time – SUK was accused of doing so 35 times at intervals of between one to 94 minutes, spending RM8,937 in the process, while PTG had seven cases of between two to 36 minutes at the tune of RM1,161.

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The AG’s report said that SUK and PTG must ensure that drivers and private workshop panels obeyed maintenance procedures, monitor vehicle maintenance expenditures and ensure each repair work was approved by the authorised officers. They were also recommended to scrutinise monthly fuel use closely before making payments.

This is, of course, not the first time state governments have been in hot water over vehicle maintenance costs – Terengganu famously made news in 2008 with the revelation that it spent RM1.15 million over four years on maintaining its fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executives.