Peshawar [Pakistan], January 19 (ANI): Exposing negligence, weaknesses, and lack of financial control of the health department, Pakistan authorities have found serious irregularities and anomalies amounting to Rs 1,388 million in COVID-19 funds of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the Pakistani newspaper, The News International, the Auditor General of Pakistan has found these irregularities including the fraudulent payments of Rs 296 million during the special audit of COVID-19 funds of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department for the financial year 2020-21.
The audit report also exposed negligence, weaknesses, lack of financial control of the health department, highlighting losses to the national exchequer, overpayments, fraudulent payments, misuse of funds, irregularities, and doubtful payments, showing mismanagement, as the officials made illegal purchases, exceeding their authority. The report also exposed the purchase of different items at higher prices while ignoring the lowest rates.
"As per laid down procedure any observation raised or any irregularity pointed out by audit team, then the department gives its reply accordingly. If any issue is left unresolved then it is discussed in the departmental accounts committee (DAC) meeting and if not resolved there then it's taken to the public accounts committee (PAC). If any para is not settled in PAC then it can be called irregularity and as per directions of the PAC, action is taken", a senior official said.
During the special audit of COVID-19 emergency funds, it was observed that an amount of Rs78,000,000 was paid to a Karachi-based company for the supply of 400,000 Automated RNA extraction kits at the rate of Rs195 per piece. However, the scrutiny of the bidding documents revealed that the best-evaluated bid and lower rate of Rs179 were not accepted, which resulted in a loss of Rs6.400 million to the government kitty. Furthermore, the two rejected firms have also submitted their grievances against the technical specification, which was not responded, making the bidding questionable, The News International reported.
The audit held that how the management of the DGHS office ignored the test capacity and forwarded tests in excess of their capacity just to withdraw the amount. Hence, a loss of Rs296.100 million was incurred to the national exchequer. It was noted that an expenditure of Rs1,324.218 million was incurred by the DG Health on the purchases of machineries, equipments, medicines, diagnostic kits, and hiring of different services, it added. (ANI)