KARACHI: The Audit and Inspection Report 2012-2013 has made audit observations highlighting non-recovery/loss/unauthorized use of public money amounting to Rs6.0 million approximately during the last fiscal year in Model Customs Collectorate of Customs (Preventive), Karachi.
The Report identified several cases in which either the national exchequer loss due to non-recovery or unauthorized use of public money. However, some of the audit observations were settled following the replies made by the Collectorate.
Unauthorized utilization of Public money of Rs. 2.531 millions was identified as the MCC , made cash withdrawals from the bank for subsequent payments to the concerned persons in cash instead of cross cheques. Proper acknowledgement of money was also not obtained from the recipient. This resulted in unauthorized utilization of public money Rs. 2,350,511.
The irregularity was pointed out to the department in October 2013, but no reply was furnished by the department till finalization of this draft para. “The irregularity needs to be justified/regularized besides fixing the responsibility,” noted the Report. The para is still unsettled.
Non-recovery of rent of premises and utility bills thereof allocated for café/restaurant was identified and departmental authorities were requested to justify the position and sign formal agreement with the contractor, and recover the rent at commercial rates and utility charges from the date of commencement of the business and deposit the same into government treasury under intimation to Audit.
The MCC informed that they will recover the rent and amount of utility bills from the Café owner. The DAC directed the MCC to deposit this amount into government account.
The Report highlighted loss of government money on account of late payment surcharge due to late deposit of electricity charges of Rs 809,792. The Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive), Karachi during the financial year 2012-13 paid electricity bills after due date with the late payment surcharge. The inaction of the MCC resulted into loss of Rs809,702 to the government.
The MCC responded that the bills are being processed timely from the MCC Preventive but as per practice the cheques were not received from the AGPR office in time due to which the same were paid with late payment surcharge as the KESC authorities do not accept the same after the due date unless surcharge amount is included in the cheque. The DAC directed the MCC to be careful in future and process and pay the bill in time.
During the year 2012-13, MCC paid office telephone charges for officers and staff in excess of monthly ceiling admissible to them. This resulted in irregular payment of telephone charges Rs. 48,595 in excess of ceiling.
The pointed out amount needs to be recovered; besides internal controls may be strengthened to avoid such irregularity in future.
The Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive), Karachi, during the year 2012-13, made payment of Rs 23,006 to M/s Sui Southern Gas Co. Ltd. for gas charges pertaining to residential house No.43/B Lalazar, New Queens Road, Karachi. This resulted in unauthorized expenditure paid on behalf of irrelevant person.
The MCC responded that the premises 43/B, Lalazar, New Queens Road, Karachi is no more a residential building. Rather it is Guest House of FBR and is a Government property. It is pertinent to mention here that the said meter was installed in the name of said officer long before as the premises was under the occupation of Collector Preventive as official residence at that time. Later on this building was converted into Guest House. The guest house administration has been intimated that in future they have to generate their own resources to pay their utility bills.
The DAC questioned inadmissible payment of electricity charges of Rs1,844,320 and directed the MCC to regularize the expenditure from competent authority and apply for allocation of budget for Pump Room, Guest House and Preventive Service Club in Government Account.
It has also been observed that the Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive), Karachi, during the year 2012-13 made payment on account of purchase of secret services amounting to Rs. 200,000, by the details of the cases for which the refund was utilized, benefit to the public exchequer in return of the expenditure and certificate in this regard by the authorized officer was not made available to Audit. In the absence of this information, the expenditure of Rs. 200,000 was irregular.