SPSC accounts Auditors want probe into Rs183m anomalies
By Habib Khan Ghori
KARACHI, May 1: The audit report of the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) accounts for the years 2004-05 and 2006-07 has detected financial anomalies of Rs183 million and specifically mentioned that the officials concerned failed to produce accounting records before the audit team for verification of transactions.
This is a violation of Section 14(2) and (3) of the auditorgeneral’s (functions, powers and terms and conditions of service) Ordinance, 2001 which states that any person or authority hindering the auditorial functions of the auditor-general regarding inspection of accounts shall be subject to disciplinary action under efficiency and discipline rules, according to the remarks made on the auditors’ report.
During the incumbency, Mohammad Hussain Bhutto served as chairman (from March 28, 2003 to date) while the charge of secretary (drawing and disbursing officers) was held by Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah (from Dec 19, 2002 to May 23, 2005), Umer Zaur (acting charge from May 24, 2005 to July 31, 2005) Dr Nasimul Ghani Sahito (from June 7, 2005 to Feb 2, 2006) and Akhtar Inayat Bhurgari (from Feb 3, 2006 to date).
The audit report highlights 49 draft paras which are marked by observation that violation of instructions issued time to time by the finance department, flouting of most of the Sindh Finance Rules (10, 18(A), 23, 34(d), 41(a), 77 (iv), 88, 89, 96, 113, 114, 120, 178) and breaching the treasury rules (303) were evident.
The major anomalies concerning serious violations of financial discipline included over Rs1.89 million short deposit on account of examination fees. In para 1, it was pointed out that the SPSC received 65,977 applications along with a fee of Rs500 per application. The amount thus collected should be over Rs32.988 million but the reconciled statement showed the total deposited amount as a little over Rs31.098 million, about Rs1.89 million less than the collected amount. The audit report called for an inquiry into the missing amount and recommended fixing of responsibility on the officials in charge of the affairs.
It found that the SPSC had spent Rs9.329 million for different purposes without inviting tenders, violating Rule 178 of the Sindh Financial Rules, Volume- I. This also required an inquiry and action after fixing responsibility, it remarked.
Fake voucher The audit report pointed out that Rs841,000 was drawn from the SPCS accounts and paid to certain supplier against books etc but there was no proof of the supplies having been made. The payments were made on a fake voucher. In the case of supplies from the Sindhi Adabi Board Kitab Ghar, Hyderabad, a payment of Rs28,897 was made vide bill numbers 3206, 3213, 3077 and 3089 dated August 8, 2007 against a letter with reference number 3028, dated August 8, 2007. The amount was shown to have been drawn vide cheque No.0130162, dated June 25, 2007 (many days before the date of the relevant bill). The cheque No.534506, dated June 29, 2007 was issued by the SPSC against the bills but neither the delivery challans were produced before the auditors nor was any entry of the receipt of the books was found in the record of the stocks.
The other irregular and unauthorised payments made in advance without any justification having been specified in such cases as well as variations in the figures of bills and receipts amounted to Rs1.167 million. The amount concerning non-verification of challans appeared to be about Rs31.098 million and that of the non-verification/reconciliation of bank balance was Rs871,000. Unauthorised expenditure against TA/DA amounted to Rs1.148 million and against fuel purchases and vehicles repair Rs4.58 million, the report noted.
Other violations of Sindh financial rules included payment of Rs393,000 as POL charges on bills without even serial numbers, Rs423,000 on account of repair of machinery and equipment without specifically mentioned requirement, Rs246,000 charged under irrelevant head and Rs1.879 million spent on printing of non-accountal items.