The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has unearthed irregularities, instances of non-compliance and internal control weaknesses of about Rs 595 billion in the accounts of National Highway Authority (NHA).
The audit report on the accounts of NHA for audit year 2016-17 observed 52 cases involving an amount of around Rs 470 billion where irregular award of contracts, violation of PPRA rules and unauthorized expenditures was observed.
The AGP in its report pointed out 102 cases of internal control weakness which involved irregularities/loss of around Rs 120 billion. The audit report pointed out seven cases of poor performance including mismanagement, undue burden on national exchequer and inefficient utilization which caused Rs 7 billion to the national exchequer.
The report noted that saving of Rs 41.246 billion i.e.43.14 percent of total releases under PSDP/development budget was observed which showed that the development targets set for the year 2015-16 were not achieved by NHA.
The audit report pointed out that irregular award of contract at higher rates caused Rs 166.174 billion, irregular award of contract in violation of PPRA rules and bidding documents-Rs 148.654 billion, issuance of works beyond the financial capacity /limit of the insurance companies-Rs 39.522 billion, irregular award of works-Rs 18.526 billion, irregular acceptance of non-responsive bid-Rs 17.18 billion, irregular award of works without revision of PC-1-Rs 16.373 billion, irregular payment of mobilization advance due to non-obtaining of required insurance-Rs 14.865 billion and irregular enhancement in previous agreement-Rs 3.005 billion.
The report states that a loss of Rs 4.4 billion was caused due to late start and non-completion of some projects, an abnormal delay in completion of a flyover project and ineffective site supervision – Rs 150 million and extra burden of Rs 2.6 billion on government exchequer due to non-completion of project within the stipulated time period.
The AGP report pointed out the non-recovery of income tax of Rs 3.155 billion, non-recovery of NHA dues of Rs 3.086 billion on account of toll revenue, and unjustified extra expenditure of Rs 1.1 billion due to non-adoption of economical design for the project.
The Audit report recommended that internal controls be strengthened to ensure that irregularities are preempted, and that fact finding inquiries and disciplinary actions be initiated to fix responsibility in respect of cases involving overpayments, losses and irregular expenditure. Furthermore it said that PPRA rules, 2004 be adhered to in letter and spirit while making procurement of goods, services and works.