Tower of corruption: Irregularities of Rs173 million unearthed in Daanish schools

Audit report recommends disciplinary action along with provision of relevant record

Ammar Sheikh February 23, 2018

LAHORE: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has reported that the Punjab School Education Department (SED) and the Daanish Schools & Centres of Excellence Authority have combined irregularities of Rs172.909 million during the audit year 2016-17.

The audit report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, revealed irregularities including irregular appointments of staff without advertisement and approval, failure to deposit unspent balance into government treasury, overpayment of salaries, irregular expenditure on procurements, non-deduction of taxes, non-production of record for the audit spent on development work and losses due to irregular provision of procurement of machinery among other things.

School Education Department

For the SED, the AGP found irregularities amounting to Rs118.16 million. However, the irregularities for the department were significantly lower than that of the last year’s audit. For the previous audit year, 2015-16, the total irregularities recorded for the SED were Rs355.61 million.

This audit year, the irregularities include non-deduction of taxes, losses due to overpayment of salaries, irregular expenditure on procurements, irregular appointments of staff without advertisement and approval of boards and non-deposit of unspent balance into government treasury.

The highest sum in the accounts of the SED found by the AGP was the failure of the department to return unspent balance. The report said it was mandatory that money should not be withdrawn from special drawing account (SDA) unless it was required for immediate disbursement. The report also said money withdrawn from the SDA could not be kept in a bank account. Interestingly, the report revealed that the unspent balances of amounts drawn from the SDA accounts were kept in commercial banks. Two parts of the SED were recorded violating these rules. The Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) and the Directorate of Staff Development had unspent Rs4.18 million and Rs95.76 million respectively. The irregularity comes to a total of Rs99.95 million.

Daanish Schools and Centres of Excellence Authority

The AGP found irregularities of Rs54.749 million in the accounts of Daanish schools in Punjab. The irregularities have surged from Rs20.69 million in the previous audit year – 2015-16. The difference in irregularities equals to an increase of around 155% in just a single year.

According to the audit report, the Daanish Schools and Centres of Excellence Authority did not produce record of development work to the tune of Rs47.57 million. The expenditure was incurred by the Rajanpur district coordination officer (DCO) and the project director/principal Daanish School (boys) Rajanpur. The report said the money was released by the Punjab Finance Department for development work at Daanish school (boys) Rajanpur and Centre of Excellence, Rojhan. The report said the record for the development work was not produced for audit. The audit report recommended disciplinary action along with provision of relevant record.

Other irregularities in the account of Daanish schools and Centres of Excellence Authority include losses worth Rs6.3 million in procurement of machinery. Whereas, the national exchequer incurred loss amounting to Rs879,740 because the authority failed to recover money from the contractor for using substandard bricks in development work done by the authority.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2018.

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