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ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan has detected financial embezzlement, mismanagement, and irregularities of Rs 5.9 billion in the accounts of the Ministry of Interior and its attachment departments.

Audit observations amounting to Rs 5,997,668 million were raised in annual audit report 2019-2020.

This amount also included recoveries of Rs 471.914 million pointed out by the audit, the report says.

The audit observed that during financial year 2018-2019, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) intimated Rs 369,360 as receipt collected for issuance and renewal of different types of arms licenses.

While the ministry issued 82,800 different licenses, there is no mechanism of reconciliation with the NADRA to ensure that the number of licenses issued and the amount deposited by the NADRA is correct.

Audit recommends reconciliation of number of licenses issued and the amount collected.

It says that the Ministry of Interior authorised the NADRA for issuance and renewal of computerised arms licenses.

The NADRA collected an amount of Rs 134.528 million during 2017-2018.

Audit observed that the Ministry of Interior allowed the NADRA to collect such charges from public on collection of arms licenses renewal fee without approval of Finance Division.

The report says that according to the Ministry of Law and Justice and Human Rights, every government department or government or public corporate body shall seek concurrence of the Law and Justice for engagement of lawyer, where professional fee exceeds Rs 300,000.

The Ministry of Interior made payment of Rs 24,437,364 to M/s Guernica International Justice Chamber, United Kingdom on account of legal fee and travelling charge.

The expenditure of Rs 24.437 million was incurred without concurrences of the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The Ministry of Interior signed the agreement with the above said law firms on February 1, 2018, which was retrospectively effective from October 30, 2017.

Original quotation and comparative statements were not produced to the audit.

The report said that Rules of Public Procurement 2004, state that procuring agencies, while engaging in procurements shall ensure that the procurements are conducted in a fair and transparent manner, the object procurement bring value for money to the agency, and the procurement process is efficient and economical.

Machine Readable Passport Project (MRPP) Phase-III Islamabad published a tender advertisement for the pre-qualification of firms bidders on October 6, 2015.

Subsequently, purchase committee meeting was held on October 26, 2015.

To verify the actual execution of work audit team visited one RPO Planddari, and observed that security grill was not installed by vendor despite payment of Rs682,500, paint work was not carried out despite payment of Rs410,440.

The report says that the Federal Investigation (FIA)’s headquarters Islamabad was maintaining a fleet of 169 vehicles.

An expenditure of Rs 35.956 million was incurred on repair/maintenance on these vehicles during financial year 2018-2019.

It says that maintenance and operation of fleet of 169 vehicles and expenditure of Rs35.956 million during financial year 2018-2019 without NOC from the Cabinet and Finance Division was unauthorised.

No monthly report was prepared and sent to the Cabinet Division and the Finance Division on the expenditure relating to the maintenance of vehicles, the report says.

According to the audit report, the FIA incurred an expenditure of Rs 30.893 million on civil work and repair and maintenance of its official building during the financial year 2018-2019 without obtaining technical sanction, the agency has no project and technical staff to carry out civil works and the work was executed departmentally through contractors without framing departmental regulations.

The report says that the capital police was maintaining police welfare fund in the National Bank of Pakistan, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad, with closing balance of Rs52.582 million on June 30, 2019.

Audit observed that the bank account was opened without the approval of the Finance Division and retention of government money in the said bank account was unauthorised.

The Auqaf Directorate of Islamabad incurred an expenditure of Rs 21.969 million out of Auqaf Fund on account of hiring of security guards.

The payment was made to M/s Fauji Security Services, Rawalpindi.

Audit observed that the security agency was hired without open tender, the report added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020