Sunday, October 6, 2013

Government bodies able to settle only one third of questionable expenses

The government agencies have settled only one third of the questionable expenses of the fiscal year 2011-12, according to the Office of Auditor General.
Of the total Rs 35.80 billion questionable expenses of the fiscal year 2011-12, only around Rs 12 billion has been settled, informed deputy auditor general Mohadatta Timilsina.
As a sign of rising financial indiscipline of the government various committees including District Development Committees (DDCs), and public enterprises stood the country's cumulative questionable expenses — since fiscal year 2003-04 to 2011-12 — has increased to Rs 204.26 billion.
The questionable expenses have increased by 12.94 per cent in the fiscal year 2011-12 compared to a fiscal year ago but it is only an indicative figure as the actual questionable expenses could be much higher, if the performance audit is done.
Only recoverable accounts, need to regularise accounts and unsettled advances accounts come under the questionable expenses.
“Of around 38,000 cases, only 2,000 have been settled,” he added.
In the absence of parliament post-May 28 Constituent Assembly (CA) demise, there is no parliamentary committee that would have forced the irresponsible government agencies settle the questionable expenses, he said, adding that the follow up of the Office of Auditor General report is a must to promote not only accountability and transparency but also to inform people where and how has their hard earned money spent.
After the Office of Auditor General publishes the report every year, the respective agencies have to clarify about the questionable expenses within the 35 days, Timilsina added.
“Office of Auditor General even accepts their clarification after eight months, by the time of report preparation,” he said, adding that they, however, do not take interest on settlement as the culture of financial impunity and indiscipline has been on rise.
The secretaries of the respective ministries are responsible for the settlement of their line agencies unsettled expenses, however, they also seem not interested, according to the law that has also recognised them as chief financial monitors. “The Office of Auditor General notify the secretaries to settle the irregularities,” deputy auditor general said, adding, “if they also do not follow, the state ministers and ministers are requested to settle the questionable expenses.”
According to the Office of Auditor General’s 50th report, some five ministries have contributed 61.91 per cent to the total questionable expenses of last fiscal year.
"Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport's questionable expenses stood at Rs 5.36 billion, seconded by Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (Rs 3.54 billion), and Ministry of Education (Rs 3.27 billion), Ministry of Finance (Rs 3.17 billion) and Ministry of Urban Development (Rs 1.98 billion) making a total of Rs 17.32 billion that is some 61.91 per cent of the total questionable expenses among the government agencies.
Due to lack of parliament since last May 28, the Auditor General's report of the fiscal year 2010-11 also has not been tabled in the parliament, let alone the last fiscal year 2011-12's report.

No comments: