KARACHI - The director general (DG) audit, Sindh, in his special report on Director Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair (SMBBC) of Karachi University, has found appointment of the incumbent Director Sahar Gul Bhatti against rules and regulations, as she has no required experience for the job.

The DG had conducted an audit of SMBBC and Convention Center Karachi University (KU) in January, 2017. The audit was conducted in accordance with the INTOSAI auditing standards.

The report says that an advertisement for the post, dated January 18, 2015, had been found, but the list bearing names of the applicants or those shortlisted is missing. Even there was no notification by the selection committee.

Sahar Gul Bhatti was shortlisted, but did not have a 15-year teaching/research guidance experience as was required in the light of the advertisement “Which seems an undue favour to the candidate whereas Shuja Ahmed (competitor of Sahar Gul Bhatti) was Masters and PhD from London, and had a complete or more than 15 years of experience as required in the advertisement,” reads the report.

The main objectives of the audit were to review the Chair’s performance in the light of intended objectives, to assess whether the chair was managed with due regard to economy and efficiency and to review compliance with applicable rules, regulations and procedures.

In 2008, the Government of Sindh had established SMBBC and Convention Center (KU). The Chair had been tasked with conducting research on the vision and mission of BB besides imparting education through short and long multidisciplinary courses by utilising BB’s precious thought on democracy, peace, development, good governance, poverty alleviation, human rights, women’s emancipation and development.

The chair had also been empowered to collaborate with national and international institutions for various exchange programmes.

During review of accounts of Director, SMBB Chair & Convention Center, University of Karachi, it was observed that supervision construction contract of worth Rs7.936 million was awarded to M/S Shahzad Associates for supervision consultancy against the provision at 2 percent of the contract cost of Rs5.290 million in PCI. Hence excessive rate at one percent of Rs2.646 million over and above the provision of PCI was allowed/ awarded without approval of the competent forum.

The DG has called for detailed inquiry into the matter.

The report says that during the audit it was observed that funds of worth Rs6.150 million were drawn from the assignment account and deposited in the university’s account to avoid lapse of funds which is illegal.

The report further reveals that it came to light that advance payment of Rs1.876 million was made on account of purchase of fixed assets to the suppliers as work order was issued on June 14, 2015 and contract agreement was not signed. Moreover, the procurement ID was withheld at SPPRA website due to non-compliance with SPP Rules and also no inspection reports of the items by the committee were found.

During the special audit, it was also found out that SMBBC director had been offered and paid a lump sum package of Rs160,000 totalling Rs1,920,000 on account of salary from June 2015 to June 2016 without approval of the Syndicate/Senate whereas the previous director was receiving salary of Rs130,000 for which no approval was found.

The report further discloses that the director’s salary had been fixed at Rs160,000 for a period of two years and no any other facility was given to him, but contrary to the above Rs 0.150 million on account of POL for the personal vehicle and mobile card for the personal use was drawn.

The report recommends recovering the expenditures so incurred, saying this was not allowed.

The audit found that the endowment funds of Rs25.00 million were received by the Directorate of SMBB chair for investments and expenditures would be made from the profit earned on the investments whereas Rs3.032 million were utilised from the endowment funds as per the statement submitted to audit which shows balance of Rs21.968 million, out of Rs25.00 million. The auditor recommends recovery of the funds so drawn.

The reports further states that Rs262.533 million were given to a contractor for the construction of Convention Center and allied facilities for the Chair.  According to the report, the contractor was ineligible as per evaluation criteria set in the prequalification document.

The report says that the supervision construction contract of Rs7.936 million was awarded to M/S Shahzad Associates for supervision consultancy of “Construction of office, convention center and allied facilities for Shaheed Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair” who was ineligible contractor as per evaluation criteria of the prequalification document.

The report says NITs of Rs60.759 million were given to contractor/consultant but the procurement IDs were withheld due to non-following of SPP Rules, 2010 and payment was released without fulfilling the requirements. Thus payment without fulfilling procedures of procurement was unauthorized.

According to report the expenditure of Rs 0.287 million was incurred on account of printing and publication through splitting up upon the same dates to avoid open tender. Expenditure so incurred could not be authenticated.

The audit report say that in the scheme titled “construction of Benazir Bhutto chair and allied facilities” an expenditure of Rs 1.864 million has been incurred on the head of contingency which includes professional video camera of Rs 60,000 and other items but no any tender was floated for this in contravention of above rules.

The audit has raised objection that a Rs24.670 million was drawn and paid to a contractor on account of mobilization advance prior to award of work and before obtaining 10 percent bank guarantee and 10 percent guarantee was also obtained before issuance of mobilization advance cheque. 

The report also says that a vehicle was purchased for Rs788 million during ban period without approval of the chief minister. Also approval of external bill for advance payment was not found to audit.

The auditor has recommended necessary action and further inquiry.