• 1. INTRODUCTIONThe use of Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) is considered to be advantageous to project managers because of the perceived benefits such as timeliness in decision making and ensuring project success (Raymond & Bergeron, 2008). In the context of public sector project management and monitoring in Malaysia, PMS II is the primary PMIS which is currently mandated to be used by all ministries, departments and agencies. The main purpose of PMIS is to provide information system support to the full process of project development and implementation under the Malaysia Five-Year Plan. Focusing primarily on the element to provide information sharing and enhance project monitoring effectiveness, PMS II was deployed with the intention to overcome all the weaknesses of previous government project monitoring information systems.Nonetheless, the annual Auditor General's Report had identified weaknesses in project monitoring capability among government bodies. This had caused projects delay or projects implementation failures. For example, in year 2011, it was specifically pointed out that public programmes, activities and projects which had failed, were largely due to the lack of monitoring and supervision by the responsible parties (National Audit Department, 2011). The effect of project delays and failures were colossal in monetary terms, not to mention the denied benefits to the target groups who had to wait longer or even being forced to accept sub-standard projects because these projects did not meet the required specifications.In the case of Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MoA), 580 projects and programmes valued at Ringgit Malaysia 6.6 billion were registered in PMS II to be implemented under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2010-2015). Although a majority of these projects had adhered to their planned schedules, some projects had encountered long delays. One of the delayed project that attracted public attention in the Auditor General's Report recently was the RM300 million Paya Peda Dam project in Besut Terengganu (National Audit Department, 2013), that failed to meet the project datelines.Past literature has identified various factors that could cause project delays, such as absence of an effective monitoring system, lack of information sharing and, poor communication between stakeholders that subsequently impact on decisions making by the respective authorities (Caniels & Bakens, 2012). Therefore, an assessment of PMIS can be beneficial to understand its effectiveness and factors that can help to improve current and future project management and monitoring effort.PMS II is an online, end-to-end project management and monitoring system that utilises collaborative environment in order to provide better management of public development projects (Masrek, 2009). It is one of the Electronic Government (eGovernment) projects under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship programme. PMS II adoption has been made mandatory on 23rd October 2010 through the directive of the National Action Council in Directive No. 1, 2010, National Action. To date, all ministries, departments and government agencies are obligated to use the system.Previous literature with regard to study of PMIS towards successful project implementation is limited as echoed by Liberatore (2003). Among these limited studies, little attention has focused on PMIS effectiveness specifically PMS II. A majority of the empirical studies has been largely describing the users' demographics and functions of the system. This study aims to contribute by examine the effectiveness of PMIS specifically on the implementation of agro-based projects which are often located at rural and geographical disadvantaged regions.Assessment on information system effectiveness could offer a chance to understand system strength and weaknesses. Subsequently, this can provide a better understanding, and measures can be taken to ensure system objectives can continue to be fulfilled. … ()
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