An audit report available with The Express Tribune suggests that the country’s apex anti-corruption authority is itself marred by financial irregularities worth Rs77.8 million.
According to the 2011-12 audit report, the auditor general of Pakistan discovered financial irregularities and misappropriation of advances collectively amounting to Rs77.87 million in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The report was also presented in front of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The document reveals that NAB spent Rs61.3 million under the pretext of recruitment/hiring of employees and legal charges.
The auditor general observed that an amount of Rs30.1 million was paid to employees under the head of ‘payment for services rendered’ during 2008-09 to 2010-11 without due approvals. Another Rs31.2 million was paid as legal fees to 11 consultants hired on lump sum contracts under the head of ‘law charges’ during the same period.
In its defence, however, NAB maintains that its chairman is the competent authority to appoint any advisers, consultants or experts and fix their remuneration under section 28(f) of the NAB Ordinance.
The anti-corruption authority also paid Rs15.2 million in advance to the Pakistan Public Works Department (PPWD) for the renovation of an office building. However, when the management was asked if the work had been completed, it replied that only construction/renovation work worth Rs1.45 million had been completed and the rest was yet to be accounted for.
The report suggests that contrary to NAB’s Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC), the bureau’s management did not get the expenses approved by the finance division.
Another irregularity found in the audit report is the expenditure incurred on payment of salaries to contingent staff during 2006 to 2011. It reveals that NAB’s director general (Balochistan) paid Rs1.3 million to contingent staff appointed without the prior approval of the finance division.
The document states that NAB’s principal accounting officer had informed the management of the irregularities in December 2011, but the DAC was not convened till the formalisation of the audit report.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.