LAHORE: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has unearthed irregularities worth billions of rupees in the Punjab Health Department as officials concerned failed to produce a record of Rs 10.206 billion expenditure.
In a report, the auditor general asserted that auditable record pertaining to transactions amounting to Rs 10,206.81 million was not produced despite requests during an audit of the health department. AGP recommended that the department should produce the record for scrutiny besides fixing responsibility for non-production of record.
The audit report noted that according to Section 14 of the Auditor General’s (Functions, Powers and Terms and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2001, the officer in charge of any office/department shall afford all facilities and is liable to provide a record for audit inspection and comply with all requests for information.
“Any person or authority hindering the auditorial functions of the Auditor General regarding inspection of accounts shall be subject to disciplinary action under relevant Efficiency and Discipline Rules,” it noted.
The audit observed that due to non-production of record, the authenticity of the accounts could not be verified.
The report revealed that the matter was pointed out to the concerned formations in August 2014 and between July to November 2016. The audit formations at Sr nos 3, 4,6,8, 11, 13 and 15 stated that record is available.
However, the audit noted that the reply was not based on facts as no record was reproduced for verification.
It was noted that the formations at Sr nos 1, 2, 5 and 12 stated that record is available in the office of AG Punjab. The formations at Sr Nos 7, 9, 10 and 26 noted the observation for compliance. However, the remaining formations offered differed vague replies.
The report noted that the matter was further reported to principal accounting officer (PAO). In departmental accounts committee (DAC) meetings held on January 5, 12, 25 and February 2, 2017, the amount of the para at Sr No 21 was reduced to the extent shown in annexure after verification of record.
It was noted that the paras at Sr Nos 4, 11, 13, 15, 18, 23, 29, 33, 37, 38 and 39 were kept pending for compliance. The paras at Sr Nos 16 and 40 were also kept pending due to the matters being subjudice.
However, no further progress was reported until finalisation of the report as no reply was received nor was a DAC meeting convened with regards to remaining paras.