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Towards a Speedier Process

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Azizah Abdul Razak, Assistant Administrative Officer of the Treasury’s Voucher Department.

No more delays

Text Eunice Ng

The Voucher Department of Malaysia’s Treasury Housing Loan Division receives nothing less than 1,300 claims from developers in a day. The department has a total of 35 clerks, which means each clerk would need to process an average of about 37 claims per day. So the question is how do they get it done and how fast?

For years now this has been a daunting task to the people responsible for assisting countless civil servants in attaining a roof over their head. It is a slow, manual process, with each application taking about a month or so before approval. The department is plagued by delays in disbursement of loans to developers, which in turn snowballed to interest charges on purchasers.

This is a big concern not only to the purchasers but to the department and the Treasury at large. However, the problems have been tackled and resolved, thanks to the Treasury’s move to push for improvements through a series of effective amendments.

Speaking to delegates at the recent Treasury Housing Loan Seminar organized by REHDA Institute, Azizah Abdul Razak, Assistant Administrative Officer of the Treasury’s Voucher Department reassured participants the winds of change is here to stay.

She says the department and the Treasury have undergone several successful revamps that have a major milestone for the Treasury.

Not only has the department combined certain circulars under the Housing Loans Fund Act and streamlined all amended processes and improvements under its jurisdiction, it has also straightened out some kinks that have slowed down the processes in the past.

Do away with the long wait! With all the changes approvals of first loan now take only a day to clear, provided all forms are complete.

The approval process for those taking a second loan for the purchase of a second property has also been cut down from 21 days to only 5. (See Achievements)

If, Azizah says, there is a delay in the process, it is normally due to incomplete forms and documents submitted by purchasers and failing to produce the original Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA). At times, she adds, purchasers even forget to sign the documents.

Another issue that has led to incurring interest charges on purchasers is the delay in disbursing payments to the developer’s account. When developers file in a claim for payments from the Treasury upon completion of a job, the claim is often not accompanied with a complete or accurate architect’s certificate validating the stages of completion of the project. This is only one of the many reasons resulting in delays, says Azizah.

However, all these setbacks will soon be a thing of the past because the series of improvements have resulted in the birth of an integrated online system for the Treasury Housing Loan application. Applicants can now download relevant forms for their applications. Azizah says although currently the filling up of these forms is done manually, at least it is one step more to improvements.

The website is targeted to be fully operational and live by June this year. With this, all parties, whether purchasers, developers or lawyers, will enjoy greater convenience in accessing information, such as approvals, payments, disbursements and checking their statements online.  

Azizah says, being able to check the disbursement of payment status will eliminate interest charges being accumulated when loan is not disbursed to developers. With all the improvements taking place, civil servants can now obtain government loans to purchase auctioned properties. This, according to her, was not allowed in the past due to the tedious manual processes.

All the progress within the department have saved the Treasury at least RM800,000 annually on administration costs alone, says Azizah.

If the online site is offering only a fraction of the total service offered by the department for now, can we imagine how much more can be saved once the site is fully operational?

The ‘spring- cleaning’ has saved the Treasury at least RM800,000 annually on administrationcosts alone.

The Treasury Housing Loan Division Malaysia
was introduced in 1970 under the Housing Loans Fund Act to enable civil servants to purchase a property.

Achievements

For more information, visit the Treasury’s official website at http://bpp.treasury.gov.my

Types of Loans

I. Purchase of completed property.
II. Construction of property on land.
III. Purchase of under construction property.
IV. Purchase of land with the purpose of building a  house.
V. Refinancing of loan from existing financial institution.
VI. Purchase of property on land purchased with the Treasury loan.
VII. For renovation.

Improvements on Working Processes

  • E-forms introduced in August 2010.
  • Integrated in-house housing loan system online,
  • implemented through stages, estimated to be fully operational by June 2011.
  • Online e-statement accessible by purchasers starting for 2008 statements.
  • SMS notification system on status of housing loan approval.