ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly said on Thursday that all organisations using public money were subject to audit and ordered the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to get its accounts audited from the Auditor General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR).
The PAC observed that passage of the 18th Amendment did not absolve any of the organisations using public funds and receiving money from the government kitty from the obligation of getting their accounts audited.
The meeting directed the FWO, whose audit has been due for the past 12 years, to ensure audit of its accounts from the AGPR.
The meeting, presided over by Sardar Aashiq Hussein Gopang, reviewed audit reports for years 2013-14 and 2002 relating to ministry of housing and works and the Fata secretariat.
The auditors informed the committee that the FWO had received an overpayment of Rs674.311 million in connection with the construction of 10 road projects in Fata in 2011-12.
PAC says all organisations using public money are subject to audit of their accounts
Rana Asad Amin, the auditor general, urged the committee to ask the FWO to get its accounts audited from the AGPR. He said the FWO enjoyed tax exemptions but it received withholding tax from the Fata secretariat with regard to road projects.
The PAC asked its office to write to the FWO to get its accounts audited. It also directed for the recovery of the additional amounts paid to the FWO.
Fata Secretary Fida Wazir asked the PAC to direct the finance ministry to release the Fata grant on time.
The meeting was attended by Dr Darshan, Junaid Anwaar Chaudhary, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Sahibzada Nazir Sultan, Shafqat Mehmood and Pervaiz Malik.
Payment to NLC
The PAC was informed that former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf of the PPP had ordered the construction of 64km Mandra-Chakwal road and dualisation of the Sohawa-Chakwal road without completing codal formalities.
Audit officials said that the assignment of projects to the National Logistic Cell (NLC) and booking of transferred funds as expenditure without any actual work done was gross violation of the statutory and codal provisions.
Mr Asharf had ordered the ministry to pay Rs5.9 billion to the NLC in two instalments. In the meantime, a petition was filed against proposed payment to the NLC.
The court cancelled the agreement and the second cheque for Rs2.3bn was withheld, but the recovery of the first cheque amounting to Rs2.6bn had not been made from the NLC yet.
Housing and Works Secretary Shahrukh Arbab told the meeting that the Mandra-Chakwal project had been re-awarded to the NLC on the lowest bid and the outstanding amount was being adjusted.
The Mandra-Chakwal project has been revised from Rs4.67bn to Rs9.322bn. The committee sought details of the project to be presented at its next meeting.
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2016