Rs 31.006 billion irregularities in PTA accounts unearthed

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in its audit reports highlighted Rs 31.006 billion irregularities, non-recovery and negligence in Pakistan Telecommunication Author-ity’s (PTA) accounts.

These irregularities were unearthed in the Special Audit Report on the accounts of PTA for the audit year 2011-12. According to the report, the audit was carried out as per the parameters given by the monitoring and implementation (M&I) committee of the Public Accounts Committee on the issues namely court cases and their pursuance by the Law Wing of the PTA, incurrence of expenditure on pay and allowances of Law Wing as well as on engagement of lawyers, action taken by the PTA without consulting members of the authority, and evaluation of internal controls and coordination.

The report revealed that there was an increasing trend in court cases over the years. Eighty-three external litigation or court cases were pending till the completion of audit. Besides, 94 cases of internal adjudication were also pending. An expenditure of Rs 4.470 million was incurred on engagement of lawyers without approval of the competent forum of the PTA as was observed in two paras. The receivables management in PTA remained weak, which resulted in non-recovery of an amount of Rs 23.063 billion and it was highlighted in six paras.

The PTA as well as national exchequer sustained a loss of Rs 5.555 billion due to the negligence of Finance Division of PTA. The working of Human Resource (HR) Wing was not satisfactory as many appointments in various cadres were made in violation of the advertised criteria as well as service regulation as observed in seven cases. The audit report further revealed that irregularities amounting to Rs 2.388 billion were committed due to decisions taken by the chairman without consulting other members of the authority as was required in the act.

The AGP in its report said that the details of court cases provided by the Law Wing was examined and it was found that there was an increasing trend in the number of court cases. The disposal of the cases was only 20 percent despite a separate Law Wing and consultancies. The number of court cases against PTA filed by defaulters was rising consistently and the outstanding amount was more than Rs 40 billion. The Law Wing issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for External Litigation and Internal Adjudication on July 6, 2010 and circulated the same among all through e-mail.

The new SOP was approved by the chairman and not by the authority as was required under Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 (Amended 2006), and therefore, it was considered as irregular. The report further revealed that the PTA management incurred an expenditure of Rs 25.301 million on account of legal fee from May 14, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Examination of files of Law Wing revealed that a number of counsels in external and internal litigations were engaged during the above period with the approval of only the chairman instead of the authority, in violation of the rule. Therefore, the payment made on this account stands unauthorised.-Dailytimes

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in its audit reports highlighted Rs 31.006 billion irregularities, non-recovery and negligence in Pakistan Telecommunication Author-ity’s (PTA) accounts.

These irregularities were unearthed in the Special Audit Report on the accounts of PTA for the audit year 2011-12. According to the report, the audit was carried out as per the parameters given by the monitoring and implementation (M&I) committee of the Public Accounts Committee on the issues namely court cases and their pursuance by the Law Wing of the PTA, incurrence of expenditure on pay and allowances of Law Wing as well as on engagement of lawyers, action taken by the PTA without consulting members of the authority, and evaluation of internal controls and coordination.

The report revealed that there was an increasing trend in court cases over the years. Eighty-three external litigation or court cases were pending till the completion of audit. Besides, 94 cases of internal adjudication were also pending. An expenditure of Rs 4.470 million was incurred on engagement of lawyers without approval of the competent forum of the PTA as was observed in two paras.

The receivables management in PTA remained weak, which resulted in non-recovery of an amount of Rs 23.063 billion and it was highlighted in six paras. The PTA as well as national exchequer sustained a loss of Rs 5.555 billion due to the negligence of Finance Division of PTA. The working of Human Resource (HR) Wing was not satisfactory as many appointments in various cadres were made in violation of the advertised criteria as well as service regulation as observed in seven cases. The audit report further revealed that irregularities amounting to Rs 2.388 billion were committed due to decisions taken by the chairman without consulting other members of the authority as was required in the act.

The AGP in its report said that the details of court cases provided by the Law Wing was examined and it was found that there was an increasing trend in the number of court cases. The disposal of the cases was only 20 percent despite a separate Law Wing and consultancies. The number of court cases against PTA filed by defaulters was rising consistently and the outstanding amount was more than Rs 40 billion.

The Law Wing issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for External Litigation and Internal Adjudication on July 6, 2010 and circulated the same among all through e-mail. The new SOP was approved by the chairman and not by the authority as was required under Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 (Amended 2006), and therefore, it was considered as irregular.

The report further revealed that the PTA management incurred an expenditure of Rs 25.301 million on account of legal fee from May 14, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Examination of files of Law Wing revealed that a number of counsels in external and internal litigations were engaged during the above period with the approval of only the chairman instead of the authority, in violation of the rule. Therefore, the payment made on this account stands unauthorised.-Dailytimes