The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has found mismanagement, irregularities and week financial controls amounting to Rs. 5.8 trillion in the accounts of 44 federal ministries during the audit year 2017-18.
The objections raised by the auditors in the financial accounts of the ministries are 87 percent higher when compared to the audit objections raised during the previous year, which was Rs. 3.12 trillion in accounts of 36 ministries.
The AGP report said the findings were based on scrutiny of public funds of 44 out of 60 federal ministries and divisions. The audit did not cover amounts below Rs. 1 million spent or received by these ministries.
The AGP recovered an amount of Rs. 69.4 billion and deposited the same in the federal consolidated fund.
It found out 39 cases of weak internal control amounting to Rs. 5.775 trillion involving multiple ministries and divisions. The auditors uncovered 82 cases of irregular expenditures or payments amounting to Rs. 24.75bn in violation of rules.
The AGP highlighted 26 cases of weak financial management in another 22 cases related to unsound asset management amounting to Rs. 1.3bn. There were 65 cases of recovery amounting to Rs. 9.12bn, while three cases were reported where record relating to Rs. 3.18bn was not produced on auditor’s demand.
Interestingly, the AGP also questioned misrepresentation of more than Rs. 3.89tr in supplementary grants by the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue which are required to ensure sound financial management of the federal government.
The AGP report said that under Articles 80, 83 and 84 of the Constitution, the finance ministry was bound to print these supplementary grants which accounted for 92 percent of the total supplementary grants. However, the ministry did not fulfill its constitutional obligation.
The report said that the Finance Ministry was required to place all supplementary grants before the National Assembly for approval but it was not done and such large amounts remained unreported.
Moreover, the AGP noted that the ministries and divisions had incurred an expenditure of Rs. 1.74tr in excess of final grants available to them and in fact the heads and principal accounting officers of the ministries were not authorized to incur excess expenditure without any supplementary grants or within original budget allocation.
SECP, NEPRA, OGRA, PTA and PEMRA Violations
The audit report also highlighted that five regulatory authorities responsible for the country’s five major sectors of economy were themselves violators of the law as they did not pay Rs. 3.12bn to the Competition Commission of Pakistan as 3 percent mandatory regulatory fee.
The regulatory agencies include the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.
The AGP also declared the appointment of Ogra chairperson, Uzma Adil Khan, in a conflict of interest and against the laid down rules.
The AGP also demanded recovery of Rs. 955m from the families and guarantors of 132 scholars from about 3,000 sent abroad on government expense who never returned in violation of their security bonds.
Rs. 2.2 Trillion Missing in the Power Sector
Auditors have uncovered irregularities, mismanagement and weak internal control system amounting to a whopping Rs. 2.2 trillion in the accounts of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) and its attached departments.
The Auditor General of Pakistan has found 431 cases of irregularities and financial mismanagement amounting to over Rs 2.2 trillion in Wapda and Pepco and its corporate entities including, Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G), National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Nandipur Power Project during the audit year of 2016-17.
In Wapda’s power sector wings, the auditors found 39 cases of overpayments/misappropriation amounting to Rs. 76.177 billion.
They uncovered 41 cases of unjustified/irregular payments/expenditures amounting to Rs 66.420 billion, 65 cases of irregularities amounting to Rs 27.790 billion, 36 cases pertaining to others etc amounting to Rs 25.262 billion, five cases of misuse of public funds amounting to Rs 12.247 billion, six cases pertaining to weakness of internal control systems amounting to Rs 2.771 billion and one case pertaining to damage amounting to Rs 1.042 billion.
The AGP’s report says that the total auditable expenditure and revenue for Wapda, for the financial year 2016-17, was Rs. 90.822 billion and Rs 23.612 billion, respectively. The Directorate conducted the audit of the 95.35 percent expenditure amounting to Rs 86.602 billion and 100 percent revenue amounting to Rs 23.612 billion on a test check basis in accordance with the audit methodology.
Recovery of Rs. 15.884 billion was pointed out and recovery of Rs 1.726 billion was admitted at the instance of audit during the audit year 2017-18.
The AGP further pointed out the irregular investment of Rs 2 billion from pension reserve funds, unauthentic payment to contractor amounting to Rs 354, generation loss due to forced shutdown of Rs 513 million, loss due to non-indemnification of insurance claims of TBM of Rs. 356 million, loss due to non-removal of TBM from silt amounting to Rs 7.936 billion, undue favor due to non-submission of enhanced performance security Rs 3.229 billion, excess execution/payment against approved BOQ items of Rs 1.824 billion and non-mutation of land property Rs 1.270 billion amounting to over Rs 39 billion.
The report said that in power sector 35 cases were detected related to unjustified/ irregular pays/ expenditures amounting to Rs 813.316 billion, 56 cases of recoveries of amounting to Rs 740.455 billion, 10 cases of weaknesses of internal control systems amounting to Rs 53 billion, 24 cases pertaining to others including accidents, negligence etc amounting to Rs 25.853 billion, 8 cases of embezzlement of public money, theft and misuse of funding amounting to Rs 5.448 billion and two cases of accident/damage amounting to Rs 2.458 billion.