IT ministry directed to probe $0.475m irregular expenses -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IT ministry directed to probe $0.475m irregular expenses

By Ijaz Kakakhel

ISLAMABAD: The Special Public Account Committee (PAC) Tuesday directed the Ministry of Information Technology (IT) to thoroughly investigate the irregular expenditure of $0.475 million in a project in San Francisco and submit the report within three weeks.

Secretary IT Saeed Ahmad Khan informed the PAC it was a unique project in which the PC-I of the project was not prepared/ approved but appointment of Toheed Ahmad was made in 2001. He said there was no record of the equipment purchased for this project.

The PAC was informed that M/O IT and Telecommunication intended to set up its IT Mission at San Francisco to be funded out of the block allocation for IT development in the year 2001-02.

A sum of $ 475036 was remitted for meeting expenses of the Mission. Before making remittances, the ministry did not have the PC-I approved by the competent forum. The PAC was further told that a sum of $ 882 was spent on purchase of machinery and equipments, $ 28518 on purchase of furniture, and $ 1742 on purchase of crockery without approval/sanction of the ministry, in disregard of the rules of propriety, without obtaining competitive rates and without obtaining receipt of payment made.

A sum of $ 70013 was paid as rent of CG’s residence from April 2001 to Feb 2002 without approval of the ministry as required under certain rules. The residence hired in the most expensive area and payment was made without any agreement as nothing was produced to audit and also without any invoice, voucher, payee receipt and budget provision during the same period.

A sum of $ 3000 was paid to a local lawyer as consultant for development of incubator without sanction of the ministry, without any TOR and also without entering into formal agreement with him.

The audit officials informed the committee the PAC on Feb 2, 2011 directed the ministry of IT to probe the case and submit the report to PAC within two weeks. The PAC was informed enquiry carried out but it looked like a joke in which nothing has been cleared. The enquiry report was incomplete with respect to fixation of responsibility, recommendations and deciding of panel action.

Ahmad Khan informed the PAC the in-charge of the project Toheed Khan was working in Punjab province somewhere and he was actually employee of ministry of foreign affairs.

Over another audit para, the PAC also directed the M/O Tourism to improve the performance of ‘Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management’, which was established in 1972 but still running on government grants. However, after devolution process under 18th Amendment, the institute likely to went into provincial government of Sindh. The institute is charging fee from students ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 35,000 depending on course. The PAC also settled Audit para 2, relating to recovery of Rs 128.049 million. The PAC also cleared the payment of Rs 0.420 million on account of TA/DA to National Project Coordinator of UNDP.

The PAC also directed the ministry of sports to provide details of 6 projects of Pakistan Sports Board to Audit Department.

The PAC asked both the NADRA and audit officials to resolve the issue of expenditure worth Rs 444.737 million on account of up-dation and printing of electoral rolls without inviting open tenders. The NADRA awarded the contract to a particular company without any open bidding with deprived the government of benefits from it.
Source: Daily Times
Date:3/9/2011