The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has started an investigation into how two Lahore Electricity Supply Company (Lesco) contractors received their performance securities back before finishing their projects, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The FIA started the inquiry after Lesco Chief Engineer (Development) Ziaul Latif wrote to the agency pointing out the discrepancy. He wrote that the securities deposited by Siddique Sons Engineering and SGWI amounting to Rs260 million had been found to be missing. He said the banks concerned had confirmed that the money had been withdrawn. According to the rules and regulations, performance securities cannot be returned to the contractors until they have completed their work and obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the authority concerned. The chief engineer asked the FIA to investigate how the firms had managed to get the securities released and which Lesco officials had connived in the matter. He said he had also set up a departmental committee to look into the matter.
Sources familiar with the investigation by the FIA’s Anti Corruption Circle (ACC) said that the two firms had now deposited the money back into the bank accounts in question after learning that the authorities had found out about the missing money. According to a report sent to FIA Director General Muhammad Anwar Virk by the ACC, the FIA would question the officials concerned at Lesco, the two firms and the banks.
The ACC has sought the official record of the matter from the chief engineer. The inquiry is being conducted by Jamil Ahmad Khan, the ACC assistant director in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.