MoWHS tops list of ministries with highest fraud and corruption cases

MoWHS tops list of ministries with highest fraud and corruption cases

The total unresolved irregularities have gone up to Nu 604.38mn in 2018 from Nu 405mn in 2017

Among the ten ministries, the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) has the highest amount of fraud and corruption cases amounting to Nu 11.77mn.

This is according the Annual Audit Report 2018 that was launched yesterday. The AAR 2018 is a compilation of un-resolved significant issues from 597 audit reports issued during the year 2018. It also includes the certification of the annual financial statement of the government for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. 

The total unresolved irregularities in 2018 amounted to Nu 604.38mn and in 2017 the total unresolved irregularities amounted to Nu 405mn.

The report states that under the budgetary agencies, the highest amount of irregularities is reported with Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) with Nu 80.09mn, followed by the Ministry of Information and Communications with Nu 53.089mn and the MoWHS with Nu 52.53mn.

Under the non-budgetary agencies, Druk Air Corporation has the highest amount of reported irregularities of Nu 93.05mn, followed by State Trading Corporation of Bhutan with Nu 49.119mn and Farm machinery Corporation Limited with Nu 22.31mn.

The Annual Audit Report 2018 attributed that the highest amount of irregularities was on mismanagement which amounts to Nu 24.92mn.

The case of mismanagement was on under-utilization of structures of Tibetan Mastiff Conservation project at Gasa and non operational and defunct Chupathang lift irrigation scheme in Samtse. It had remained defunct for two planting seasons due to breakdown of the pumping system.

The report also states that the highest irregularities of the MoAF were attributed to payment made without completion of nursery work, payment without execution of work for creation of heritage forest, payment without supporting documents and wasteful expenditure in construction of market shed.

It was also attributed to the shortfalls, lapses and deficiencies on payment exceeding the actual work done due to non-recovery of advances from the running account bills and grant of inadmissible advances, outstanding advances and payment made without adequate supporting documents.   

The report states that the irregularities with elements fraud, corruption and embezzlement aggregated to Nu 29.612mn of which ministries represented Nu 19.036mn, followed by the gewog administrations with Nu 3.863mn.

Under mismanagement, a lapse of Nu 127.384mn was reported with Nu 74.522mn under the ministries, followed by Nu 25.76mn under corporations.

According to the report, the MoWHS has the highest fraud, corruption and embezzlement cases. There were cases of suspected collusion among the contractors causing financial loss to the government.

Meanwhile, the total lapses reported under non-compliance to laws and rules amounted to Nu 185.1mn of which corporations represented Nu 105.749mn, followed by dzongkhags with Nu 32.9mn.

Shortfalls, Lapses and Deficiencies amounted to Nu 262.284mn, where dzongkhags had Nu 74.74mn, followed by ministries with Nu 73.55mn.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Auditor General, Chimi Dorji, said they are adamant with the recommendations that they provide to the agencies.

“Our recommendations are acceptable and applicable to the agencies,” he said, adding that before RAA issues a final report, they issue a draft report requesting to confirm the facts and figures contained in the draft report as well as to comment on the audit recommendations for their acceptability and feasibility.

“The respond should be given within one month after the issue of draft report. If we don’t get responses we consider it as fully accepted by audited agencies,” he said.

Further in the report, the RAA recommends construction management to ensure proper planning and scheduling of constructions to avoid delays in completion of works. It states that agencies must ensure that drawings, designs and estimates are completed in respect of deliverables sought, agencies must enforce the release and recovery of advances as per the provision of contract, the practice of booking expenditure without completing works needs to be regulated and process for taking over of completed works must be clearly delineated.

For service delivery, RAA recommends the need to improve delivery of land services and improve census service delivery, and the need to review un-reconciled financial statements for better financial management.

pic courtesy: MoWHS fb page

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu