RAA recovers about Nu 1.7bn

RAA recovers about Nu 1.7bn

About Nu 1.5bn was recovered from the budgetary agencies and it is deposited in RAA account while about Nu 2.6bn was recovered from the non-budgetary agencies

The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) recovered about Nu 1.7bn during the Fiscal Year 2021-22. Recovery amounts are those monies expensed by respective agencies which RAA finds as inadmissible, excess and double payment.

According to the Annual Audit Report 2021-2022, the RAA has asked those agencies to recover back in to Audit Recoveries Account which is transferred back to the Ministry of Finance in Government consolidated Fund Accounts.

About Nu 1.5bn was recovered from the budgetary agencies and it is deposited in RAA account while about Nu 2.6bn was recovered from the non-budgetary agencies. The amount recovered from the non-budgetary account is being deposited in respective accounts.

From the budgetary agencies, Nu 106.006mn was recovered from construction related agencies. Recoveries from excess, inadmissible payment of travel allowances and daily allowances accounted to Nu 13.07mn while from others it amounted to Nu 31.739mn.

In the non-budgetary area, Nu 0.847mn was recovered from armed forces (Royal Bhutan Police and Royal BodyGuards) in construction related works.

Nu 26.076mn was recovered from Corporations, which has been deposited in respective accounts. From this category, the highest amount was recovered from the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited (STCBL). About Nu 2.3bn was recovered from the STCBL.

About Nu 1.2bn was recovered from Tala Hydro Project and about Nu 0.7mn was recovered from the National Housing Development Corporation Ltd.

From Bhutan Post, Nu 0.471mn was recovered and Nu 0.372mn was recovered from the Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited.

Nu 0.369mn and Nu 0.115mn were recovered from Tangsibji Hydro Energy Limited and Kurichu Hydro Project respectively.

Meanwhile, recovery from the Druk Green Power Corporation Limited accounted to Nu 0.017mn while recovery from the Bhutan Hydro-power Service amounted Nu 0.004mn.

Budgetary agencies are government organizations including Ministries and Agencies for which annual budgets are included in the appropriation bill and appropriations made by the National Assembly.

Non-budgetary agencies include Corporations and Financial Institutions, State Owned Enterprises, non –Governmental Organization, Civil Society Organizations, and Hydropower projects.

According to the RAA, excess payments are those payments paid more than the payable amounts and inadmissible payments refer to payments made which is not entitled or wrongly paid. Double payments refer to bill paid twice.

Though it cannot be justified concretely, the Deputy Auditor General (DAG) Minjur Dorji said that excess, inadmissible and double payments may have happened intentionally. However, the DAG said that it occurs when there is no proper internal control in the organizations. “The payments are not supervised properly,” the DAG said, adding that the double payments are made by mistakes due to overburdening works.

In the executive summary of the Annual Audit Report 2021-22, it is stated that while agencies are expected to ensure minimum internal control frameworks for critical functions/operations, generally there is a lack of tone at the leadership to instill control consciousness based on which other elements of internal controls can take firm root.”

It also states that in the process, the agencies overlook ethical culture and leadership that underpin mechanism of delineating responsibility and enforcing accountability.”

The impact of RAA’s work is not only cash recoveries that are accounted for in the Audit Recoveries Account and recoveries retained in non-budgetary agencies, but also includes cost savings and other forms of restitutions, improvement in working systems and internal controls, and creating deterrence to unethical practices by demanding appropriate sanctions based on severity of the offences.

The RAA conducted 387 financial audits and issued 343 financial audit reports while 694 financial audit reports were followed up.

59 compliance audits were conducted and issued 49 compliance audit reports. More than 105 compliance reports were followed up.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu