PAC alarm over public resources 'embezzlement' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PAC alarm over public resources ‘embezzlement’

KARACHI: A report prepared by the Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee has said that violations of the principles of law, proprietary and probity by several public functionaries caused waste and embezzlement of public resources.

The PAC report for the years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 (auditor general reports 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09) was tabled in the Sindh Assembly on Friday.

Sardar Jam Tamachi heads the PAC while MPAs Mujadid Isran, Bachal Shah, Shama Mithani, Aamir Moin Pirzada, Mohammad Shoaib, Rafiq Banbhan and Ayaz Soomro are its members.

The 223-page report contained details of 26 provincial government departments.

Expressing concerns over reluctance shown by various government departments to produce the required record for an audit, the PAC observed that it caused unnecessary audit objections, which later also consumed the time of the PAC.

The PAC report also showed that over Rs519 million of public money had been recovered on its directives. The committee directed that proper record be maintained and placed before the audit as and when demanded.

The PAC stressed the need for making all procurements in a transparent manner and in pursuance of the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules.

It directed the government that recovery be made from the staff involved in misappropriation/loss caused to the government.

It said that payment of conveyance allowance to employees living on college premises was a clear violation of financial rules and ordered the authorities concerned to expedite the recovery and production of relevant record for verification to the audit.

The PAC also showed displeasure over non-verification of record of adjustment on a timely basis.

The committee also ordered that any official/officer against whom an inquiry was in process should not be posted and the employees against whom cases were pending in the anti-corruption department be suspended.

It also directed that the issue of non-recovery of house rent and electricity charges from those employees living in government accommodations be taken up with the chief secretary as well as the chief minister.

While discussing issues relating to universities, the PAC directed that the matter regarding payment of allowances be referred to the finance department for comments and seeking guidance in relation to legal as well as constitutional position of resolutions passed by the syndicate/senate of different universities.

The report said that the committee also showed concern about the non-production of record to audit and number of irregularities in the departments and directed that the matter be brought to the knowledge of the governor, chief minister as well as the ministers concerned.

Referring to auditors, the report said that there was a need for the audit staff to be more professional considering the present day challenges as they had obligation to constantly upgrade and improve their skills so that they were able to professionally apply auditing, accounting and financial management standards, procedures and practices whenever required.

It said that they should also possess good understanding of constitutional, legal and institutional principles and standards and governing operations of the audited entities.