Project Management Office - Operations
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Compared to other crimes, in particular physical crimes involving persons or property, corruption takes on less tangible manifestations, and its occurrence is not always easily detected. Corruption is therefore correspondingly more complex to measure and quantify empirically. Given this, a number of key international experts refer to the perception of corruption as a suitable measure of corruption, and in particular Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index has over the years gained prominence as an internationally recognised measure. Based on Malaysia’s score and placing in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index over the past decade or so, international business people and country experts perceived a gradual rise in corruption in Malaysia. This was reflected in the country’s Corruption Perception Index score which dropped from 5.28 in 1995 to 4.5 in 2009. Similarly, the perception of corruption among the public too has been deteriorating, with the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer survey showing that in 2009, only 28% of the rakyat (citizenry) viewed the Government’s actions in fighting corruption as being effective, as compared to 53% in 2007. As a response to calls from the public to address these concerns and to halt the perceived increase in corruption within the country, the government made fighting corruption one of its top priorities, by including “Fighting Corruption”as a National Key Result Areas (NKRA) under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) 2010-2020. By specifically addressing corruption through a NKRA, the appropriate level of focus and resources can be brought to bear on the problem, whilst setting in motion a slew of initiatives to effectively address the existing scenario. Since commencing with initiatives, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and other independent efforts by the government have begun to generate growing positive sentiment from various stakeholders. Strengthening the capabilities of its officers and staff has been an on-going development focus of the Commission as well as complementing the Government’s overall efforts in raising the performance bar of the public services sector. Moreover, such Transformation initiatives will skew towards improving public’s perception on the Commission but more in gaining public confidence, both locally as well as internationally, on the nation’s anti-corruption efforts based on the principles of Independent, Transparent and Professional. Effective Management Systems concerning Investigations, Education and Prevention; and an Overall Human Capital Development Management System has been earmarked as MACC’s focus areas for improvement and towards an overall transformation of the Commission. In moving ahead with the Transformation agenda, the Transformation Executive Committee or JET is tasked to spearhead MACC’s Transformation. The spotlight will be on improving the organisation structure, the introduction of a human capital management system based on competency levels, introduction of a flexible talent management system and the inclusion of external experts in propelling the progress of MACC’s operations.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The MACC transformation programme took effect as result of the sucide incident which involved a political aide to an Opposition Party at the premises of a MACC State Office in 2009 after he was taken into custody for questioning by the MACC. This incident brought serious implications to MACC. Public confidence eroded, politicians took advantage of the incident and made it a political agenda for their own political mileage. The issue was never allowed to rest even after the inquest and the recently concluded Royal Commission of Inquiry. The transformation process of ACA to MACC were perceived a failure While all this happened, the year 2010 showcased a change in leadership of MACC. Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed took over the helm of MACC as its new Chief Commissioner. The new leadership of MACC then immediately made an environmental scanning which showed that image and credibility of MACC badly ruined, public confidence towards MACC were low, the public could not feel the effectiveness of the transformation of MACC, political parties took advantage and politicized the transformation of MACC, and last but not least, the morale and enthusiasm of MACC officers hit rock bottom. MACC was left on their own to deal with perceptions and fighting corruption was derailed. The farsighted leadership immediately formulated and introduced the MACC aspiration. The aspiration focused on specific initiatives to reverse the negative perception and reposition the public confidence on the MACC and the fight against corruption. Internally, it focused to enhance the morale and confidence within the organization. The aspiration thus focused on three main elements of independency, transparency and professionalism. Hence, MACC took a bold step to create several new posts: (i) Deputy Chief Commissioner of Management and Professionalism in addition to the other two namely Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) and Deputy Chief Commissioner (Preventions). The establishment of a special division called the Excellence and Professionalism is to maintain and enhance professionalism in and within the human capital of the MACC; (ii) the Corporate Communication Unit is to disseminate information and liaise with internal and external key communicators especially the media; (iii) the Special Operations Division to focus on high profile and public interest cases; and (iv) the Transformation Unit to study, evaluate and formulate comprehensive strategic plan pertaining to organization, structure, processes, human resource and work culture within MACC. The MACC’s transformational leadership outlined specific vision to realize the aspiration through formulations of big wins focusing on high profile and public interest cases, enhance public confidence, and the shift from output to outcome base performance that could be seen, felt and which will derive intended impact in the fight against corruption. Thus, the transformation strategic planning outlined comprehensive focus points on four matters namely effective investigation management, effective prevention and community education, sustaining public confidence, and capacity and capability building. The leadership did not immediately implement all the strategic plans that were formulated by the Transformation Unit but instead formed an Executive Committee on Transformation (JET) to peruse and advice the management on the implementation of the strategic plans. The Committee is lead by the Chief Commissioner himself with members comprising the three Deputy Chief Commissioners, members from the Oversight Committees and panels, and two experts in law i.e. a former appellate court judge who is also the chairperson of the Complaints Committee and a former federal court judge, who was a panel member of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the suicide of the political aide. The MACC leadership practices transparency and wanted to precisely ensure the effectiveness on the implementation of all strategic plans on transformation. The inclusions of experts in various fields are to advice, implement and ensure the success in implementation of the strategic plans on transformation. A number of the transformations that have been outlined and even immediately implemented includes the Video Interviewing Room for recording of statement from accused person, potential accused person or witnesses with potential hostility. The Chief Commissioner hence had advised the Directors of all state branches to be prepared for changes. They were advised to equip themselves with knowledge and understandings on financial investigations, private sector investigations and proactive investigations. All functions were to be carried out with the objectives of outcome base. All actions must have high impact and felt by the public. Investigations were not only being focused on all corruption but must also give emphasize on high profile and public interest cases. Investigations must be conducted and completed swiftly, accurately and professionally.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The responsibilities in identifying the required changes and monitoring the effects of the transformation were delegated to the respective Service Lines in order to achieve the desired results. Institutional changes especially in a matured organization are traditionally medium to long-term in terms of achieving full results of its efforts. However, in a short span of just over a year, several initiatives have been initiated, implemented or are in the process of implementation as per highlighted below. • RCI RECOMMENDATIONS 95% of the recommendations suggested in the RCI Report on the suicide case of the political aide to an Opposition Party have been implemented. At present, PMO Operations with the assistance of officers from various departments are conducting the compliance audit in all states to monitor the implementation of the following key recommendations. 1. Interviewing Standards An important element in the RCI report was the recommendation of the PEACE technique of interviewing witness/suspects. PEACE is an acronym representing:  Planning and Preparation  Engage and Explain  Account Clarification and Challenge  Closure  Evaluation In view of this, the MACC initiated the training of all investigating officers in the PEACE technique. In 2012, 104 MACC investigating officers were exposed and trained in the PEACE methodology conducted at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) by the National Policing Improvement Agency of United Kingdom. A total of six sessions have been scheduled for 2013 which will cater for 210 officers and another four sessions catering for 140 officers in 2014. In addition, 120 selected officers from the PEACE training programme will undergo the training on the REID interview technique by trainers from John E Reid Associates of the United States of America. The REID technique consists of factual analysis, interviewing, and interrogation methods formulated by John. E. Reid and is comparable to the techniques used by the FBI. In 2012, two REID training sessions were concluded, training a total of 62 officers. The remaining will undergo the training over two sessions scheduled in March 2013. 2. Search & Seizure Procedures Stringent standard operating procedures have been imposed regarding search and seizure in situations with or without written authorisation. 3. Qualification and Training of MACC Officers Entry qualification into the MACC requires an applicant to possess a diploma or degree. In addition, new recruits from 2013 will undergo a 12 months basic training in contrast to 3 months previously. 4. Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) Courses conducted at MACA have also been improved to incorporate the changes recommended in the RCI report. The course contents have been revamped to be more comprehensive and to cover a wider range of topics. 5. Video Interview Rooms (VIR) VIR’s have been constructed where the interview process is recorded both in audio and visual to ensure transparency and to dispel allegations of misuse of powers by MACC officers in interview sessions. These VIR’s are located at the ground floors of MACC offices. 6. Treatment of Invited Persons Specific instructions with firm procedures have been issued on the handling/supervision and monitoring of visitors to the MACC. 7. Security Features at MACC offices All MACC offices have been equipped with CCTV’s and a proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for the installation of another 640 units. Grills (certain levels on a need basis) have been installed at all MACC offices for security and safety purposes. • LEGAL The key objectives of the Legal Service Line are to identify weaknesses in effectiveness of prosecutions and steps taken to address and improve success rate of prosecutions and convictions. The Legal Service Line together with Deputy Public Prosecutors, ex-prosecutors and experienced MACC officers, has examined in detail to identify gaps in processes, SOP or the law in the manner in which certain cases are managed. This immense effort is to study the strategy to improve the rate of conviction of corruption cases in Malaysia. As a result of this, the Legal Gap Analysis was conducted and recommendations pertaining legal aspects were made including the proposal to enhance SOPs and amendments in the provision of the law on corruption. The applicability of Plea Bargains, Corporate Liability and Public Misconduct was also examined. Significant events include: a. A dialogue session between MACC/Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) with Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Md Raus Bin Sharif, President of the Court of Appeal, on the concerns on the special court on corruption, related corruption conviction statistics and the challenges faced by prosecutors. b. Workshops and dialogue sessions conducted by Judge Frank Montalvo, US Federal Court judge who specialises in corruption cases, were held in April 2012. He was accompanied by Peter Ainsworth, Senior Prosecutor of the US Department of Justice. In addition, a briefing on plea bargain was conducted by Ken Kohl from the US Department of Justice for DPP’s and MACC investigators in June 2012. • TEAM-BASED INVESTIGATION Team-based investigation is a methodology which is essential in producing efficient and effective investigations. Outlining of new SOPs and assembly of operational toolkits are currently in its pilot stage of implementation. The Team-based investigation approach not only shortens the completion time of an investigation but also enables effective pooling of various expertise needed in dealing with complex investigations to yield positive outcomes in every investigation. The setting up of the Investigations Operations Room or commonly to be known as BGOS (Bilik Gerakan Operasi Siasatan) is a high point produce to complement the Team-Based Investigation approach. BGOS is a milestone initiative that is equipped with advanced technology equipments, networking facility and a complete one-stop office facility. BGOS is designed to cater for large team-based operations in which team members, comprising of members with a variety of highly skilled expertise, are able to function more efficiently and effectively in a more focused manner. This Service Line has also developed structured training modules to support the implementation of this methodology. • PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTIGATION A collaborative approach has been initiated through strategic alliances with agencies such as Bank Negara Malaysia, the Inland Revenue Board, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia to enhance investigations concerning the private sector. The collaborative alliance approach consisting of multi-disciplinary vocations, has laid foundation for a more solid, transparent and efficient sharing of information; expertise; knowledge and skills. The approach will also enable the MACC to probe on other offences related to corruption. In moving towards the desired outcome, MACC officers will undergo in-depth training via a structured training module that is designed and developed together with the assistance from the agencies. The training will enable MACC investigators in enhancing knowledge of industries and on private sector investigation in the implementation of this methodology. • PRO-ACTIVE INVESTIGATION Pro-active investigation under the Intelligence division has progressed towards zoning and centralising certain functions and directives on intelligence at the headquarters. This is now under its pilot stage of testing. Professor Dr Michel Girodo, an expert in undercover training provided to reputable enforcement agencies in Canada, United States of America and Europe, was engaged to conduct the specialised training of several officers in undercover operations and integrity testing. An updated SOP on undercover operations is currently under review and in its finalisation stage of drafting. In moving forward, a Intel-Info Centre (IC) has been set-up to facilitate intelligence work in obtaining pertinent information. The terminals at IC are linked online with external agencies for swift and accurate data retrieval processes. • COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT Designing and managing an effective, efficient and purposeful system that will manage complaints received by the MACC will enhance both operations and the credibility of the Commission. The Complaint Management System (CMS) is one of the significant outcomes designed to effectively manage the complaints received from various sources. CMS has the capability of notifying the complainant (periodically) on the status of the registered complaint, decided by the Information Evaluation Committee, via email, short messaging system (SMS) and on the CMS web portal. Security access controls in all existing record storage rooms were enhanced with the introduction of biometric access systems to protect the confidentiality and secrecy of records and documents in these rooms. These measures are vital in terms of MACC’s ability in protecting the confidentiality of the information and in enabling the MACC to provide its commitment in serving Malaysians. • TASK FORCE FOR FORENSIC ACCOUNTING Statistical data and detailed assessments have indicated a wide gap in terms of the capacity, capability, expertise and skills required in the investigation concerning forensic accounting. Instead of depending on the organic growth in the department, which can be time-consuming, the Service Line recommended for the sourcing and recruitment of external expertise to raise the competency level in a shorter timeframe. This measure is required with the intention of grooming existing officers in the department. Prior to the setup of JET, a Forensic Accounting expert was recruited which subsequently led to the formation five-man team managing investigations covering aspects on Forensic Accounting. Since then, the number of staff has doubled and is on the rise. This further proves that the valued contributions requiring finance-based investigations have established its importance in investigating corruption cases requiring forensic accounting methodologies.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In 2012, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission implemented various changes and initiated various improvements which resulted in significant enhancements in its operations as well as continuous improvements in its overall performance. These improvements were mainly evident through the enhancement and modernisation of all its divisions. The establishment of the Transformation Executive Committee known as JET, was the key driver in the transformation of the MACC. JET, established in July 2011, is primarily tasked to examine, inspect and advise the top management on the implementation of the MACC Strategic Plan. Experts from various fields were identified and appointed to steer and ensure the success of the Strategic Plan and its planned strategies. Under JET, two Project Management Offices (PMO) - PMO Operations and PMO Human Capital were formed. Seven Service Lines were established under PMO Operations to form project working teams headed by its respective leaders appointed. Cooperation between PMO Operations and PMO Human Capital has been pertinent in ensuring congruence of the project objectives. Monthly project progress reports are presented to JET whereby a total of 17 meetings were held up to December 31, 2012 attended by the various Service Line leaders as well as representatives from PEMANDU. Progress reports of the PMO Operations are also prepared for the Chief Executive Officer of PEMANDU upon request. JET-PMO Operations implemented various key activities such as gathering of data, conducting researches and reviewing current practices of the MACC as a whole. These activities were undertaken by all its 7 Service Lines: 1. Diagnostics & Fact Finding The various Service Lines conducted strategic brainstorming sessions, internally and externally, in gathering useful information for diagnostic purposes and in assessing the current scenario in order to formulate strategic directions. 2. JET PMO Operations Survey Questionnaire A nationwide survey was conducted through field visits to every state receiving response from 65% of the total workforce in the MACC. The questionnaire contains three components: • Survey questionnaire • Dialogue session with staff • Focus Group Interviews (key personnel) The above exercise ascertained the current situations concerning operational issues experienced by the staff as well as recording suggestions for improvements. Findings from the survey were compiled and analysed by the Nielsen Group. 3. Benchmark Visits to Foreign Agencies Working visits to world renowned enforcement agencies were conducted by the Service Lines to gain insight and to establish benchmarks for the transformation plans. As a result of this benchmarking exercise, the PMO Operations identified effective and efficient practices as well as new perspectives in enhancing the current operations. One in particular is the visit to the FBI which has been forthcoming in the assistance in some of the key initiatives in capacity building which include: a. A 5-day comprehensive program at the FBI for 8 MACC delegates in January 2012 at Washington DC including a visit to the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia US. The training covered areas such as public integrity, financial crime, public corruption, fraud investigations in the public and private sector, interview and interrogation training, undercover operations, polygraph techniques, electronic surveillance, anti-bribery, grand jury subpoena and the working mechanism between the FBI, federal prosecutors and the US Department of Justice. At the training academy, the MACC delegates were briefed on FBI’s training programs as well as taken on a tour of the infrastructures, types of equipments and other logistics used in investigations. b. Visit by Judge Frank Montalvo, a US Federal Court judge together with Senior Prosecutor, Peter Ainsworth and Ken Kohl from the US Department of Justice to Malaysia. c. In September 2012, Supervisory Special Agent Sean R Anderson and Supervisory Special Agent Hal S Stutsman conducted a 5-day course for 30 MACC officers at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) in Kuala Lumpur on interviewing and interrogation techniques. d. FBI’s approval for a Senior MACC Officer to attend FBI’s Management and Leadership Development Training Programme at their headquarters in Washington DC in 2013. e. Commitment by the FBI to conduct advanced level courses on interviewing and interrogation techniques at MACA, Kuala Lumpur in 2013. f. Commitment by the FBI in allocating 2 places for the MACC at FBI’s annual undercover training in 2013. 4. Gap Analysis Report The Gap Analysis methodology was employed to assess gaps between the present and desired state by benchmarking against applicable best practices. Upon completion of the Gap Analysis, the Service Lines then outlined action plans to be implement in order to close the identified gaps. This also includes charting the implementation Road Map over a short, medium and long term timeline. The Road Map also included required resources such as man, machine and money as part of its ingredient. The expertise of KPMG (an international audit/advisory firm) was engaged to formulate and compile the Gap Analysis Report. 5. Coordination with PMO Human Capital PMO Operations also worked closely with PMO Human Capital on a regular basis in relation to talent management, as well as organisation restructuring, scheduled to be rolled out in the second quarter of 2013. 6. Review of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were examined thoroughly and where required, proposed revisions or new SOPs were formulated incorporating elements from best practices.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The implementation of the Transformation is lead by the Chief Commissioner himself with members comprising the three Deputy Chief Commissioner, members from the oversight committees and panels, and two experts in law i.e. a former appellate court judge who is also the chairperson of the Complaints Committee and a former federal court judge, who was a panel member of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the suicide of the political aide to an Opposition Party.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
A Change Management Task Force has been formed to oversee the Implementation of the Road Map proposed by the respective Service Lines which is scheduled to be rolled out over a medium and long term timeframe. The MACC will continue with these robust internal reform efforts which it firmly believes will produce improved outcomes that will catapult the transformation of the Commission towards greater efficiency and effectiveness. MACC’s transformation of its human capital was entrusted to and led by the acclaimed Hay Group. Hay Group was tasked to evaluate MACC’s organisation structure, systems and processes in human capital management followed by outlining recommendations to develop the MACC towards a high achieving organisation. The Hay Group conducted a series of assessments such as the Engagement and Enablement Study on MACC officers. The Study suggests that high levels of engagement of MACC officers within the organisation as well as appropriate placement of officers in the various departments results in optimum productivity. As such, based on the findings from the study by Hay Group, the recommendations were presented in order to overcome the identified weaknesses and in ensuring that the transformation plan achieves its desired outcome.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Improvements to the MACC Organisation Structure Several new divisions in the area of Strategic Communication and International Relations, Forensic, Finance and Legal Advisor together with the establishment of the MACC Putrajaya Federal Territory office, were outcomes from the recommended suggestion. 2. Introduction of a Human Capital Management System based on Competency Career advancement and promotion of MACC officers will be based on an improved framework which will be determined by the competency of officers in contrast to the seniority officers. In view of this, a database on the portfolio of officers was developed containing information pertaining to the level of competency and experience of officers’ in the respective field of expertise. The initial input was based on a self assessment by the officers. Subsequent re-assessment will then be conducted by a competency assessment panel on MACC officers. 3. Introduction of a flexible Talent Management System The MACC should be given the flexibility in appointing individuals possessing the required expertise on a two to three year contract term. The terms of reference for these employees will also include the task of developing in-house talents in the required field. As a result of this recommendation, seven individuals were appointed by the MACC on a contract basis to serve at various divisions such as Special Operations; Inspection and Consultancy; Investigations and Community Education. 4. Engaging External Experts in Specialised Fields to Improve MACC’s Operations The sourcing and appointment of individuals with expertise, skill and experience in the needed areas has directly contributed to the success of the MACC in solving cases concerning high profile individuals as well as those of public interest in a prompt, effortless and efficient manner. Such expertise and experience is much needed in present times in curbing the crime of corruption that has become more sophisticated, complex and complicated. In view of this need, a total of 22 contract posts of various Grades have been approved in assisting the MACC in critical areas such as forensic information technology, finance, accounting, engineering, law and human resources. However, the appointments of these experts will be in phases whereby Phase 1 will focus on identifying 12 experts to occupy posts in divisions such as Corporate Communications, Forensic Accounting, Special Operations and Human Capital

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
These initiatives are monitored through periodical management meeetings and evaluated on outcome -based achivements.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The implementation of the most of above initiatives involve reorganization with certain financial implications and recruitment of expertise. In order to overcome financial obstacles the initiatives are implemented in stages and recruitment/secondment of expertice funded from other Government agencies.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
EFFORTS by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to combat graft have been successful. The result of the MACC's transformation efforts can be seen from the number of convictions, which has risen from 54% in 2009 to 89% as of June 2013. There has also been an increase in public confidence in the MACC following the arrest of high-profile individuals and international recog¬nition of the Government's commitment to fighting corruption. The transformation of the MACC initiated in 2009 had led to an increase in publi¬c confidence in the commission from 31% five years ago to 39% now based on an independent Merdeka Centre report. The level of confidence, had steadi¬ly increased in 2011 to 43% based on a survey carried out by the Business Ethics Institute. An effectiveness study done by Universiti Kebangsaaan Malaysia (National University Malaysia) showed that public confidence rose to 64% last year coupled with the MACC's 80% achievement rate. The MACC was even acknowledged by the UN Convention Against Corruption on enforcement of laws and good practices through their Executive Summary published in the UN website’s itself.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The MACC transformation inivitiatives outlined above are only applicable within the MACC organization. However through its relationships with other international/regional anti-corruption agencies, the MACC has also shared its initiatives with the said agencies during their study visits.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Lessons learned: • Public trust and confidence on a law enforcement agency is of paramount importance if its is to effectively combat corruption. • An effective anti-corruption agency has to improve its capacity and capabilty to not only solving cases but also to boost morale of its personnel. • The anti-corruption agency cannot operate in a vacuum but needs the feedback and consultation of its stakeholders.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Abu Kassim Mohamed
Title:   Tan Sri  
Telephone/ Fax:   +603-88867471
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Level 7, Block D6, Complex D, Federal Government Administrative Centre
Postal Code:   62502
City:   putrajaya
State/Province:   PUTRAJAYA

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