PAC to hire third party contractors for Sindh varsities audit

August 10, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Sindh Public Accounts Committee will hire third party auditors for better accountability of the universities while a committee of provincial assembly members would also visit finance departments of the varsities to keep a check on their financial issues.

This was stated by PAC Chairman Saleem Raza Jalbani while presiding over a meeting to overview the accounts of Karachi University and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences at Sindh Assembly.

He said that the committee could not only rely on the on DG Audit as they carry out audit of only 25 percent accounts, instead third party auditors would provide them more chances to thoroughly check the financial matters of the Sindh varsities.

The PAC committee viewed the remaining irregularities of the KU and LUMS universities, which were cleared by DG Audit after being provided with proofs of transactions. The two irregularities of LUMS which were presented before the committee were Rs 0.969 million in terms of non-accounting of store articles and Rs 0.169 of non- recovery of temporary advances. The DG Audit said that the receipts for payments made were provided by the varsity administration, therefore, the issues were cleared.

However, Jalbani asked as to why the issues were not resolved in 2009, when the audit identified the irregularity, and it took almost five years to clear the matter. He asked the varsity vice chancellor to review matter of other remaining years so that committee should spend its time on other important issues.

The committee sent Rs 46.323 million irregularities found in KU to sub-committee despite being cleared by the DG Audit. The vice chancellor told the meeting that out of the total amount, Rs 35 million was spent on purchasing books and journals and as per Sindh government law, library material and books could be purchased without calling tenders. He further said that receipts of remaining amount were provided to DG Audit, who also verified the transaction.

Jalbani asked DG Audit as to how the issues were resolved after a single PAC meeting and why it was not resolved before. The DGT Audit said that they had sent several notices to varsities to clear the issues raised by their auditors, however, the varsities administration did not pay heed towards them. He said that auditors were doing their work properly and they were able to recover Rs 1.107 billion during 2009-2010.

Speaking on the issue, the PAC Syed Sardar Shah said that they would amend PAC rules in order to make them more effective. He said that the committee would be given powers of suo moto while action against criminal negligence would also be introduced in the PAC rules. “We are consulting legal advisors for changes in PAC rules and soon they would be presented before the assembly,” he said.

Responding to a query over preference being given to Karachi students and neglecting Sindh students in giving admissions in KU, Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Qaiser said that there was no such discrimination. He said that they had reserved 400 seats for Sindh rural areas while they were also allowed to get admissions on open merit seats, however, he said that even reserved seats remained vacant. “Our first preference is Sindh students and then students from other parts of the country,” he said.

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