Sunday January 6, 2013
MACC: Facebooking during office hours a form of graft
By R.S.N. MURALI and LOSHANA K. SHAGAR
MALACCA: Civil servants and staff of government-linked companies (GLCs) surfing social media or engaging in personal matters during working hours may be categorised as having committed corruption, said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“For instance, if a person spends three hours during his or her stipulated working hours for personal tasks, it can be deemed a form of corruption as the Government trusts and pays its employees to fully utilise the working period to complete tasks relating to the respective jobscope,” said MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Sutinah Sutan.
This also applied to those who surfed Facebook or other forms of social media, as such actions could be considered as straying from their job specifications, she said after witnessing the signing of the corporate integrity pledge by Kumpulan Melaka Berhad (KMB) at a hotel here yesterday.
KMB is the first state government agency to sign the pledge aimed at creating a business environment free from corruption and upholding anti-graft principles.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam was the guest of honour at the event.
Sutinah said the act of engaging in other personal tasks during work hours could be considered as contravening the employment contract and culprits could face disciplinary action if initiated by respective disciplinary boards.
She noted that although such offences were not covered under the MACC Act, the commission could advise the disciplinary board on the types of actions to be meted out against errant staff of such government departments and GLCs.
Meanwhile, Sutinah confirmed that the commission had started screening general election candidates following the request from both Barisan Nasional and the Opposition.
Meanwhile, Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman urged civil servants to give priority to their duties during working hours.
“While social media is a good way to encourage people to be more tech-savvy and updated on current affairs, civil servants should dedicate their work hours to their respective ministry, department or agency,” he said.
He also proposed a proper mechanism to define what websites, if surfed by a civil servant during working hours, could be considered straying from their job specifications.
“There should be clear guidelines, not only for the workers to understand what actions can be penalised, but also for the disciplinary committee to determine what is within the job scope and what is not,” he said.