ISLAMABAD - The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has detected irregularities and non-compliances of about Rs 147 billion in the accounts of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in the audit year of 2013.

According to the details about irregular expenditures, it is said that BISP management paid Rs 12.220 million to Anjum Asim Shahid Rehman, a chartered accountant, vide cheque No.865129 on account of Nationwide Rollout of Poverty Scoreboard during 2011-12. The audit was not provided with the selection criteria of the firm, noted and correspondence file and the report submitted by the firm. Audit recommended that the responsibility should be fixed for hindering the auditorial functions of the AGP the report said.

BISP management paid an amount of Rs 3.734 million to the nine deputationists in the head of house rent allowances despite the fact that they were allotted government accommodations. The audit is of the view that the deputationists were not entitled to monthly house rent.

An amount of Rs 21.583 million was spent in adoption of special pay scale by BISP board without the concurrence and approval of Finance Division and the audit is of the view that the subsequent payments were irregular and unauthorised and the amount should be recovered.

A total of Rs 2.746 million were paid in violation of the government's instruction.  The audit is of the view that officer appointed on contract basis is not entitled to benefit from arrears.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 1647.486 million was spent under the head of selection of four advertising firms without due evaluation, the entire process of short-listing and final selection was done without the involvement of Press Information Department. The audit is of the view that this payment was irregular.

An amount of Rs 2747.256 million was spent on irregular appointment of State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) without open competition. The BISP management advertised invitation for proposal in respect of Waseela-e-Sehat (health insurance) in leading newspapers. As a result eight insurance companies submitted their proposals for the same. Audit is of the view that appointment of SLIC without open competition and without observing the laid down rules was irregular, the report said.

Likewise, an amount of Rs 74412.364 million was spent in regulation for disbursement of funds not approved from the BISP board as the BISP management made payments during 2010-12 under Poverty Scorecard System, Parliamentarian System, Waseela-e-Haq, Waseela-e-Rozgar, Waseela-e-Sehat, Emergency Relief Packages and IDPs, the report said. The audit recommended that regulations might be notified in order to carry out the purpose of the BISP Act 2010.

An amount of Rs 7.665 million was spent in the head of provision of vehicles to unauthorised officers and Rs 1.930 million was paid in irregular and unauthorised payment to cash reward to World Bank consultants, the report revealed.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 2648.747 million was spent in undue favour to SLIC as the BISP management Board decided to provide life Insurance worth Rs 100,000 to the primary bread-earners of the families. The audit is of the view that responsibility should be fixed for granting undue favour to SLIC at the cost if public funds.

A total sum of Rs 73.752 million was awarded to NADRA without open competition for printing and distribution of 184,379 Benazir Smart Cards at the rate of Rs 400 per card. The audit is of the view that award of work to NADRA without open competition was irregular and unauthorized, the report said. The audit recommended that responsibility be fixed for the irregularity.

An amount of Rs 65098 million was spent on agreements with Pakistan Post and commercial banks, which contained provision of reconciliation of funds disbursed before next payment. The amount disbursed to Pakistan Post and commercial banks was not reconciled as required the agreements and the accounting procedure. The audit is of the view that the BISP management did not provide any proof of reconciliation with the commercial banks and Pakistan Post that should have been provided. In the same way an amount of Rs 48.049 million was spent in the head of irregular procurement without open competition as the printing work was awarded to Pakistan Post Foundation Press without observing the prescribed rules and procedures and it was irregular. The audit recommends that inquiry should be held and responsibility be fixed for undertaking work without open competition.

Similarly an amount of Rs 66.968 million was spent in the head of over-payment to Pakistan Post. The audit recommends that the overpayment should be recovered or adjusted.

An amount of Rs 305.577 million was paid to ineligible beneficiaries. The audit is of the view that there was no application control and it recommends that an inquiry be held and responsibility be fixed for payments made to ineligible beneficiaries the audit report revealed.  

In the audit report it was revealed that the original budget allocated to the BISP for the financial year of 2011-12 was Rs 50,000 million out of which the programme incurred an expenditure of Rs 46381.086 million resulting in a saving of Rs 3618.914 million. No supplementary grants were obtained during the year 2011-12.

The BISP was established through an Ordinance in 2009 to provide financial support, assistance and other opportunities, such as education, vocational training, skills development, welfare programme, livelihood programme, health insurance, accidence insurance and access to micro-finance. According to the Ordinance, BISP will strive to achieve the three objectives like enhance financial capacity of the poor and their dependant family members, formulate and implement comprehensive policies and targeted programme and reduce poverty and promote equitable distribution of wealth, especially for the low-income groups.

The President of Pakistan is chief patron and prime minister is executive patron of BISP while a federal minister manages its operations as chairpersons with the help of board constituted by the President on the advice of the PM.