AGP unearths Rs1,142bn irregularities in Ministry of Water Resources

The AGP has asked the ministry to strengthen internal controls, improve service delivery and increase reliance on IT based applications

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in its Audit Report 2019-20 has unearthed Rs1,142 billion in financial irregularities pertaining to the Ministry of Water Resources. 

According to the audit report, the financial irregularities are related to procurement, contract management and accounts of the ministry. 

In total, 79 cases amounting to Rs768,675 million in irregularities related to procurement and contract management were observed. Similarly, 16 cases containing asset management issues amounting to Rs65,081 million were also pointed out.

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Additionally, three cases amounting to a total of Rs171.21 million pertaining to issues in management of accounts with commercial banks, four cases amounting to Rs11,056.53 million pertaining to employee related issues, 18 cases amounting to Rs287,937.59 million relating to value for money and service delivery and nine other cases amounting to Rs9,096 million were observed.

Meanwhile, the AGP has asked the Ministry of Water Resources to comply with the Public Procurement Rules, 2004 and the WAPDA Procurement and Contract Manual, 2014 for procurement of goods and services.  

Additionally, the ministry has also been advised to devise a strong and reliable mechanism for renewal, encashment and verification of performance bank guarantees to avoid financial losses and fraud.

Furthermore, the AGP has also urged the ministry to take necessary steps to ensure realistic feasibility studies and detailed designs for acquisition of land before awarding contracts or commencing work.

According to the document, the ministry needs to proactively resolve land acquisition issues, avoid reliance on cash transactions and adapt Information Technology (IT) based solutions.

“The department needs to strengthen its administrative and operational internal controls to improve service delivery and to obtain fair value for money through public spending and improve its reliance on IT based applications,” document said. 

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected].
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