ISLAMABAD-The level of inefficiency at Capital Development Authority (CDA) can be measured through an audit report, which pointed out that the city managers replaced conventional streetlights with LED to reduce expenses but forgot to reconcile the mode of payment with IESCO and caused a loss of Rs22.02 million to the authority.

The annual audit report for the year 2018-19 has stated that, every officer authorised to incur expenditures from public funds is expected to exercise same vigilance while spending public funds as he or she exercises during spending from his/her own pocket.

However, in the case of CDA, the situation is entirely different because they replaced the conventional road lights of higher watt with LED lights of lower watt at various locations of the capital during 2015-18 to reduce the electricity bills by spending million of rupees.

The IESCO was charging bills to civic body against streetlights on lump sum load basis without actual consumption through energy meters before the aforementioned replacement.

The concerned officers of street lights division, who were supposed to reconcile the electricity billing procedure after the replacement of streetlights never bothered to get involved in said practice and CDA was paying same bills as it was paying earlier.

The audit pointed out that the non-reduction in electric load due to installation of 3,633 lights resulted in overpayment of Rs22.027 million.

Meanwhile, in a separate audit objection, it was pointed out that different formations of CDA imposes fines on the owners of residential buildings over the non-conforming use of their residential premises and under other heads but they never tried to recover the fine amount. The audit calculated a loss of Rs633.042million on this account, which includes Rs320.3m fine imposed by Building Control Section, Rs246.5m fine and restoration charges imposed by Directorates of Estate Management and Rs66.20m advertising charges imposed by Directorate of Municipal Administration. The audit report mentioned that the Member Estate CDA had admitted the negligence on part of authority in this regard in a department accounts committee meeting and he was directed to ensure the recovery of the said dues at the earliest.

According to another audit objection, the authority had sustained a loss of Rs430.70m due to a tainted restoration of cancelled plot number 31, Markaz Sector D-12. The audit pointed out that the said plot was restored against the Restoration Policy 2014.

As per the policy rules reproduced in the audit report, a cancelled plot can be restored only on the market price but in this case the plot was restored on the original bid which was much lower than the market price.

The plot was restored at the rate of Rs174000 per square yard while market price was Rs454000 per square yard, which caused a loss of Rs430.7m to national exchequer.

While replying to this audit objection, CDA has stated that the plot was restored according to the decision of its board. However, the auditors rejected the reply, as the plot cannot be restored on lower than market rate according to the policy.

Audit recommends recovering the restoration charges at current market rate or reauctioning of the same plot.