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KARACHI: The Public Accounts Committee of the Sindh Assembly has detected financial anomalies amounting to Rs17.879 million in the audit report of the Mirpurkhas Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.

The committee rejected the board chairman’s contention that financial discipline rules of the Sindh government did not govern the board as it was an autonomous institution and refused to settle five out of six draft paragraphs of the board’s audit report for the year 2008-09, referring them to the PAC subcommittee for a further probe with the directive to the board chairman to get it verified within 15 days by producing documents in support of his contention.

The ruling was given by PAC chairman Saleem Raza Jalbani when the board’s audit report was taken up for consideration at its meeting on Friday held at the Sindh Assembly building.

Of the Rs17.879 million anomalies, the para one was settled, which pertained to non-accounting of purchases of Rs830,000, after the relevant stock register was produced which justified the purchases.

The five paras, involving an amount of Rs16.996 million which were referred to the subcommittee pertained to irregular expenditure on purchases of various articles without inviting open tenders, non adjustment of advances, payment of leave–encashment, irregular payment of allowances and excess payment for additional work.

Fasihuddin Khan, chairman of the Board of Higher Secondary Education, Karachi, who held the additional charge of the Mirpurkhas board, has taken the stand that under the Sindh Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act, 1972 their board of governors was empowered to make such rules for the benefit of its employees and take its approval from the controlling authority.

He said the boards did not get any grant from the Sindh government and managed expenditures from their own resources.

DG (audit) Ghulam Akbar Sohu pointed out anomalies in the working paper and said the document submitted to the PAC did not include comments on the drafts.

Syed Sardar Ali Shah, another member of PAC, asked the chairman if action had been taken against a Mirpurkhas board clerk who disappeared after collecting examination fee from scores of students depriving them of appearing in the examination.

The PAC chief ruled: “The rules you have referred to do not apply to financial matters. However, we have sent the paras to the PAC subcommittee where you have to produce the documents in support of your contention.

“Besides, in the next PAC meeting the secretary of law will also be invited to discuss the issue in your presence and if the officials are found guilty of misinterpretation of the rules, action will be recommended after fixing the responsibility,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2015

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