Nu 54mn govt. funds misappropriated last year


The RAA report 2015 states that irregularities reported under fraud, corruption and embezzlement were mostly under accounting and procurement

Dechen Dolkar

from Thimphu

Fraud, corruption and embezzlement cases pertaining to some of the agencies and ministries cost the government coffer a total of Nu 53.963mn last year.
The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) report 2015 states that out of the total, 61% or Nu 33.154mn pertained to corporations, followed by ministries with Nu 11.814mn representing 22% of the total irregularities.
Autonomous bodies reflected irregularities worth Nu 5.235mn representing 10% of the irregularities followed by Dzongkhags with Nu 3.36mn representing 6% and gewogs with Nu 0.499mn that is less than 1% of the total irregularities.
The Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited had irregularities amounting to Nu 22.603mn. The Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) had irregularities worth Nu 9.122mn on account of misappropriation of cash and shortage of stock items.
The FCBL of Samdrup Jongkhar had shortages of cash, stocks and unconfirmed sales. The shortages were primarily due to non-deposit of collections from daily sales and misuse of various food items amounting to Nu 3.621mn of which Nu 2.440mn were recoverable.
The FCBL of Phuentsholing had shortages of 30MT Mansuri rice worth Nu 0.536mn. The disputed stock of rice had not been recorded in the “DRUKFOOD Inventory System” of the FCBL.
The FCBL of Nganglam Depot had misappropriation and shortages of cash and stock of various food grains worth Nu 7.295mn. FCBL had recovered Nu 1.148mn leaving a balance of Nu 6.146mn.
Meanwhile, the office assistant acting as accounts assistant of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), Thimphu had embezzled government revenue worth Nu 5.602mn.
The President of JDWNRH, Lhab Dorji, said that the accountant has misused the money collected from medical checkups of patients during the off hour clinic.
He said that the case had occurred in 2014. “The accountant had not deposited the money in the revenue accounting system and shown fake deposit slips in the office,” said the President.
He added that the money has not yet been recovered since the culprit had absconded the country and the case was forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had a case of embezzlement of Nu 5.235mn incurred as postal charges for ordinary letters from 2010-15. The payments were made fraudulently based on the summary invoices and bills without records of the details of the ordinary letters such as the receivers’ details and number or quantity of these letters.
The information and communications ministry had irregularities of Nu 4.512mn on account of fictitious payments, non-accountable and non-remittances of revenue.
The accountant of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) had misused Nu 2.339mn from various disbursements made without supporting documents, appropriate approvals, indiscriminate booking of expenditures. The amount was recovered along with penalty accrued amounting to Nu 0.980mn. The case was forwarded to ACC and the individual was terminated from service.
The financial coordinator of the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Project, “Empowering the Rural Community: Reaching the Unreached” under the MoIC had misused Nu 1.308mn through fictitious payments, irregular withdrawals, non-remittances and irregular adjustments of cash.
The Dzongkhag administration of Dagana had made excess payment of Nu 3.261mn to the contractor due to acceptance of inflated rates in the final bill and non-deduction of opening for the construction of multipurpose hall at Geserling Middle Secondary School.
The Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA) had irregularities worth Nu 1.7mn. The deputy chief accounts officer of the Department of Culture had misused Nu 1mn out of a budget of Nu 30mn approved and sanctioned to Department of Culture for the construction of Hindu Temple at Thimphu. The amount was recovered and the case is subjudice.
The deputy chief accounts officer of the Department of Culture had misused refundable deposit of Nu 0.7mn to be refunded to M/s K.W. Construction for the construction of National Conservation Laboratory. The amount was recovered and the case is subjudice.
The Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited, (NRDCL) Zhemgang had irregularities of Nu 1.076mn on account of misappropriation of sales revenue by Unit Managers.
The gewog administration of Sangbay under Haa had irregularities of Nu 0.387mn on account of fabrication of bills and fictitious payments.
The Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited, Trashigang, had a case of misuse of cash of Nu 0.723mn. The former Postmaster misused the amount.
The gewog aministration, Naja Gewog under Paro had irregularities of Nu 0.059mn on account of misuse of rural taxes by then gewog administrative officer from the collections of rural taxes.
The gewog administration, Pathsaling gewog under Tsirang had irregularities of Nu 0.053mn on short accountal of premium collections for Rural House Insurance & Life Insurance of Nu 0.015mn and Nu 0.038mn.
The report states that the main causes for irregularities are lack of prudence and due diligence, poor supervision, monitoring and internal control and lack of probity.