Embezzlement worth billions of rupees has been discovered after an official audit of Federal Government’s Basic Education Community Schools Project (BECS).
Almost a billion rupees embezzled
On Wednesday, Public Accounts Committee was presented with an audit brief by the office of the auditor general. According to the brief, an amount of Rs. 800 million was unlawfully disbursed for this project. A 5 member inquiry committee set up by Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has confirmed that the amount was indeed disbursed illegally.
The original basic education program was established back in 1995. It was non-formal and was succeeded by the current BECS program which ran from 2006-2012. The aim of the current program was to establish 20,000 schools all over Pakistan.
“Alien” teachers with fake IDs
Office of the auditor general also mentioned that NADRA has discovered more than 2000 fake CNIC’s owned by BECS teachers. The report pointed out that an amount of Rs. 140 million was distributed among these fake teachers every year, although no formal inquiries were made to establish responsibility for the scam.
BECS’s administration also paid Rs. 80 million for a fake project and a total of Rs. 160 million for teacher’s salaries (note: this is for total salaries, including fake and real CNIC holding teachers). The amounts were allocated secretly with no record of the list of teachers either.
More than 300 ghost schools discovered
Auditor’s report added that they had found 349 ghost schools (BECS administration confessed about this). No effort was made to recover the embezzled amount or to take action against the people involved.
It also mentioned that Rs. 66 billion had been given to the basic education program during 1985-1995. There was no record of its utilisation available.
The audit committee also examined audit paras regarding illegal promotion of 39 employees. The report further disclosed that not only did the BECS project director upgrade his own post, he also promoted 39 other employees. Some of them were even promoted 5 ranks at the same time, even though they were hired on a contract basis.
The Public Accounts Committee has referred the matter to FIA and has directed to complete the probe within 3 months.