Latest revelation by auditors has put Pakistan Rangers under controversy. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) got into action when it was revealed to them that Rangers outsourced a security job to private companies.
Director General Audits told that Petroleum Ministry had paid Rangers for the security of gas structures in sensitive areas. However, Rangers hired M/s Mehmmod & Brothers in Sindh and M/s Barki Traders in Punjab to do the job what Rangers were supposed to do.
General Musharraf’s government had assigned the Rangers to provide security at gas infrastructure from any possible attacks.
This act of Rangers is a direct violation of orders given by Prime Minister Pakistan in 2003. As per rules Rangers cannot hire private companies to do the sensitive security jobs.
PAC has been active these days. Earlier this month PAC looked into the irregularities of Civil Aviation Authority’s accounts.
As a result of the ongoing investigation, Pakistan Account Committee is seeking the records of the money paid to Rangers by Petroleum Ministry. For this purpose, Chairman PAC Khursheed Shah has asked Secretary Petroleum Sikandar Sultan to provide all records that verify the payment made to Rangers.
Auditors told that a total of Rs. 102.4 million was paid to Rangers Sindh while Rangers Punjab were paid Rs. 54 million. It was mentioned in the report that Sindh Rangers hired M/S Mehmood Brothers for the security of SSGC and Punjab Rangers rented 20 cars from M/S Barki Traders. Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) cleared all these payments to be made.
Chief finance and accounting officer of Petroleum Division said AGPR and Rangers should be audited directly instead of putting blames on Petroleum Division.
A close look at the report disclosed that,
The payments were made on the basis of an agreement between the Pakistan Rangers and the Ministry of Petroleum but neither a copy of the contract nor concurrence to the contract by the Ministry of Finance was provided.
Latest by Federal Government
“Since then the gas utility companies are making full payments to the Pakistan Rangers,” deputy chief accounts of the Petroleum Division told that federal government stopped paying Rangers in 2016. As per the deputy chief costs were equally shared between federal government, provincial governments, and two gas companies.
However federal government pulled out of it when Punjab government decided to stop making any more payments.
Poor Management of Petroleum Division
Director General Federal Audit, complaining to the PAC, said that;
The petroleum division is the most difficult division among all the federal ministries and does not cooperate.
Regarding this, PAC chairman ordered the federal secretary to chair departmental accounts committee meetings himself.
Petroleum Division’s poor administrative management was brought to light when PAC continuously pushed them. The Petroleum Secretary Sikandar Sultan couldn’t say anything but admit that his Division is seriously being mismanaged. He said in his defense that
Petroleum Division is facing worst kind of human resource shortage for the past three years.
He also said that Petroleum Division has continuously sought for the help of other companies to tackle its lack of human resource issue.
This news of Petroleum Division being mismanaged is highly shocking as PM Abbasi heads the division himself.