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RAWALPINDI, Jan 9: Auditors of the Punjab government have detected financial irregularities in the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) amounting to Rs12.579 million during the fiscal year 2011-12.

Money spent wrongly on stationery constituted almost 40 per cent of this amount, according to the report of the Director General Audit Punjab for the year.

Other areas where major financial discrepancies were discovered related to the Ramazan Sasta Bazaar, transport and education.

Weak financial discipline led to excess expenditure, noted the auditor general in the report.

It said the Rs4.889 million the district coordination officer (DCO) sanctioned for the stationery was beyond his financial powers and in violation of the purchase criteria.

As an officer of Category-I, the DCO was competent to sanction an expenditure of Rs400,000 on stationery during a financial year and draw on up to Rs75,000 as tentage (unforeseen expenditures), according to the report.

But the officer sanctioned Rs599,967 for stationery for the year under the specific head and another Rs4.286 million under the head of unforeseen expenditures.

This violation, incurring unjustified expenditures, was raised with the DCO in October 2011, and came up before the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) on December 17, 2011.

The DCO replied that the stationery items were sanctioned for all offices under him, as no separate budget was provided to those offices.

But the reply did not satisfy the auditor general’s office as the expenditure was in excess of the DCO’s financial powers.

Subsequently, the DAC directed “regularisation of the case” but it had not been complied with till the finalisation of the audit report. The report stressed fixing of responsibility along with the regularisation of the expenditure “under intimation to the audit”.

In the Ramazan Sasta Bazaar case, established in Rawalpindi, the auditors detected unauthorised expenditure of Rs3.983 million.

The DCO sanctioned the amount from ‘unforeseen object’ instead of the Special Drawing Accounts (SDA).

It was marked unauthorised expenditure because the ‘unforeseen object’ charge is meant for VVIPs movements, according to the audit report.

More over codal formalities required under the criteria regarding tendering were violated. Tender cost were recovered from firms but not deposited in the treasury, the report added.

Similarly, the expenditure was incurred without specifying the financial power on sanctions, and lump sum bill was claimed when it should have been claimed under relevant object.

Two per cent security call deposit also was not received before awarding the contract.

Another Rs3.21 million were lost to the public exchequer in the purchase of lubricants for the CDGR’s solid waste management department, the report said.

In the money spent on CDGR’s education department, the auditor general detected financial irregularity of Rs579,000 when the Executive District Officer (EDO)

Education paid the amount to the committees nominated by the District Monitoring Officer (DMO) for the  inspection of Information and Technology laboratories of 193 schools instead of the 209 schools in the district.

Payments were made to the committee members without getting their inspection reports.

The audit report said that when a reply was sought over this irregularity, the EDO Education informed the Departmental Accounts Committee meeting of December 17, 2011 that the DMO had “appointed expert officers well versed about IT technology”.That explanation did not convince the DAC. It refused to admit their claim as inspection report and recommendations were not available.

The auditor general stressed that truth be dug out by a district-level committee “to pin point and fix the responsibility against person at fault besides recovering the loss, if any, under intimation to the audit”.