Financial irregularities : Unauthorised use of cars costs FGEHF over Rs15 million

Audit finds foundation director general, senior ministry officials using govt cars while drawing transport allowance

Arsalan Altaf October 01, 2017
Pakistan needs to focus on improving financial depth and asset quality ratios. CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD: Un-authorised use of government vehicles by senior officials of the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) and the Ministry of Housing caused the foundation to lose Rs15.687 million to the foundation.

This was revealed in an audit report 2015-16 conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and recently submitted to the parliament. According to the AGP report, the FGEHF director general (DG) received over Rs65,000 per month under the transport monetization policy despite having two government cars complete with drivers at his disposal.

Under the policy, civil servants working in grades 20-22 are paid cash for using their own cars to commute every month. Simultaneously, they are barred from using government vehicles. The compulsory policy had been introduced by the federal government in 2012 as an austerity measure and to eliminate the misuse of official vehicles. Under the policy, basic pay scale (BPS) -20 officers get Rs65,960 per month while those in BPS 21 and 22 get Rs77,430 and Rs95,910 per month respectively.

However, the housing foundation chief was found availing both the monthly cash for transport facility as well as the government cars along with drivers, fuel and maintenance charges.

The audit report notes that a BPS-19 officer from the Pakistan Administrative Service had been appointed as the FGEHF chief – a BPS-20 position – on a temporary basis on May 29, 2015.

Next year on June 15, the officer applied for the monetization allowance by claiming that he had been “promoted” to the post.

The foundation, though, allowed him to avail the allowance of Rs65,960 per month. Further, he was also paid a year’s worth of arrears from the day he had been appointed in the foundation.

While drawing the transport allowance, the DG also had access to two government vehicles along with drivers, fuel and maintenance charges.  “In the same period, vehicle No GAA-095, model-2015 (Toyota Corolla Altis) and SS-612, model-2010 (Toyota Corolla), were shown attached with FGEHF director general, along with services of drivers, POL and repair and maintenance. This resulted in the unauthorised use of transport and non-recovery of Rs5.7 million,” the audit report said.

The auditors further observed that a BPS-19 officer had been appointed as the director general on an acting-charge basis but was allowed to draw monetisation allowance without fully adopting the transport monetisation policy.

Furthermore, the officer was found to be availing services of a driver but the driver’s charges of Rs10,000 were not deducted from his pay. “This resulted in the un-authorised grant of transport monetisation allowance of Rs1.187 million at a rate of Rs65,960 per month for the period from June 2015 to November 2016,” the report noted.

The audit also revealed that two other cars of the foundation were being used by senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Works since 2012 who was also drawing the monthly allowance.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2017.


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