By Aftab Maken
ISLAMABAD: The Gilgit-Baltistan Public Works Department has suffered a loss of Rs637 million due to mismanagement, contract mismanagement, losses, overpayment and non-recovery during the financial year 2008/09, an audit report revealed on Saturday.
Of the total audit observations, the report said that Rs306 million was lost due to mismanagement, Rs253 million due to contract mismanagement, Rs65 million non-recovery, Rs12 million as overpayments and Rs1 million under miscellaneous losses.
In the last budget, the department was allocated Rs5.10 billion against the total expenditure of Rs3.48 billion for FY08/09, whereas the audited expenditure amounted to Rs1.67 billion with the audited paras of Rs637 million, it said.
The department had to recover Rs262 million, but it had only recovered Rs76 million.
Interestingly, the department did hot hold single meeting of the departmental accounts committee for settling these audited observations.
The departmentís award of work at higher rates and beyond the permissible limits caused it a loss of Rs176 million when the executive engineer, water and power divisions of Ghanche, Gilgit and Ghizer awarded development works at their respective districts, it said.
A sum of Rs161 million as shortfall and non-achievement of revenue targets has resulted in an additional burden on the national exchequer when Water and Power Department, Gilgit-Baltistan reported lesser demand of electricity against the generation capacity.
The executive engineer, water and power divisions in Skardu, Chilas and Ghanche reported a cumulative loss of Rs122 million due to non-revision of tariff, the audit report said.
It also highlighted Rs65 million as non-recovery when the Buildings and Road Division, Skardu fails to recover the cost of damages and electricity charges and Water and Power Division, Chilas also fails to recover the cost of installation of energy meters. Similarly buildings and roads divisions of Hunza and Chilas also fail to recover secured advance and mobilisation advance from the contractors.
The audit also identified Rs12 million as overpayment due to measurement of separate items, incorrect classification of soil, work beyond the provision of specification, higher rates, calculation mistakes, non-provision of specification, non-deduction of stacking charges and excess payments. An amount of Rs11 million was also lost due to non-acceptance of the lowest bid within the validity period, causing additional expenditures, it added.
The audit paras amounted to Rs41 million under various heads, including irregular calling of tenders (Rs7.2 million), irregular expenditure (Rs5.5 million), non-obtaining of bank guarantee (Rs5.5 million), hiring inefficient PD (Rs4.6 million), undue financial aid and non-recovery of balance (Rs4.2 million), higher bids (Rs3.8 million), blockage of government money (Rs2.5 million) and unjustified and excess payments (Rs7.6 million). [The NEWS]