ISLAMABAD: Irregularities worth billions of rupees have been found in the Punjab Education Department as the concerned officials were unable to produce the records for Rs3,164.03 million spent on ‘expenditures’.
The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) revealed that during the audit of the higher education department of Punjab, the auditable records related to transactions worth Rs3,164 million were not produced, despite repeated requests.
The audit report noted that according to Section 14 of the Auditor General’s (Functions, Powers and Terms and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, ‘’…the officer in charge of any office/department shall afford all facilities and provide records for the audit inspection and comply with requests for information’’.
“Any person or authority hindering the functions of the Auditor General, regarding the inspection of accounts shall be subject to disciplinary action under relevant efficiency and discipline rules,” it noted.
The audit observed that due to the non-production of records, the authenticity of the accounts could not be verified.
The report revealed that the matter was pointed out to the concerned formations from February to November 2016. The audit formations at Sr. Nos 1, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14 and 15 did not offer any comments.
It was noted that the formations at Sr. No 2 noted the observation for compliance. The formations at Sr. Nos. 4 replied that the record was produced for audit. However, the formation at Sr. No.5 contended that Ex-Director has not handed over any record.
The formation at Sr. No. 7 replied that the board of governors decided that the accounts of the confidential press should not be audited by a government audit party.
The formation at Sr. No.8 replied that the manager of the guest house was on leave. The formations at Sr. Nos 9 and 13 replied that the record would be traced out. The formation at Sr. No. 10 replied that the college had hired temporary staff as many posts of non-teaching staff were vacant.
The report noted that the replies being evasive and unsupported by documentary evidence were not acceptable.
The matter was further reported to the principal accounting officer (PAO). In departmental accounts committee (DAC) meetings held on November 30, 2016, December 9, 2016, December 14, 2016, December 20, 2016, and December 30, 2016, the paras at Sr. Nos 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 were kept pending for the production of the record.
The paras at Sr. Nos. 7 and 11 were kept pending for inquiry. Further progress was not reported till the finalization of this report. With regards to the remaining paras, neither any reply was received nor was a DAC meeting convened.