ACED unveils huge corruption in Sindh’s education dept | Pakistan Today

ACED unveils huge corruption in Sindh’s education dept

KARACHI: The Sindh’s Anti-Corruption and Enquiries Department (ACED) has unveiled a mega corruption scandal of Rs17 billion in the Schools Education Department (SED) in all districts of the province out of which Rs679.583 million in just one district – Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah), the scribe learned on Monday.

The insiders confided to Pakistan Today that the anti-corruption authorities had launched a major enquiry into the alleged mega scandal of the province that involves a corruption of billions of rupees funds paid illegally to the teachers as differences and under various heads.

According to the sources, ACED has only undertaken a detailed enquiry in only one district i.e. Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) and found embezzlement of Rs 679.583 million with the involvement of Deputy District Officers (DDOs), education officials, finance department, auditors and others.

According to official documents, exclusively available with Pakistan Today, the matter was initiated upon the report of Government of Sindh Finance Department received through Chief Minister’s Secretariat under No SO (IMP-II)/CMS/Misc/2017 for conducting an enquiry.

“The finance department constituted an enquiry committee. The committee visited office of the District Accounts Officer, Shaheed Benazirabad and submitted preliminary report stating there in over/excess/unauthorized payment on account of pay and allowances bills to teachers and other employees worth Rs 679.583 million by way of misinterpretation of orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan and in violation of government directives/SOP/guidelines”, documents revealed.

“Through misuse of authority and in a fraudulent way, unauthorized payment to the tune of Rs679.500 million were made in the year 2016-17 in the head of payment of the difference in salaries, on running scale through a split and incomplete billing in violation of rules and laws was made to non-entitled employees.

“Reportedly, for such payment Rs40,000 to Rs60,000 have been received as kickback per bill amounting to Rs150,000 by the education department in advance through middlemen from beneficiary employees as speed money (for officers of education department, union leaders and district accounts office) and other officials.

“During the course of enquiry visited various offices at Nawabshah district Shaheed Benazirabad and collected/seized relevant record (details of bills passed/paid during the period January 2016 to June 2017 and bills of such claims) from district Accounts Office, district Shaheed Benazirabad. Reportedly letters have been sent to the Finance Department (SO, SR-IV) and Secretary Education and Literacy Department (Schools) to provide the relevant documents but no response was received as yet. A total of 60 officials have been pointed out in the inquiry report that was held responsible for the mega scam”, documents further stated.

According to sources, the investigators are conducting raids at difference offices in rest of the provinces and it is alleged that the total corruption of worth Rs17 billion is highlighted in the schools’ education department.

Pakistan Today repeatedly tried to contact Secretary Schools Education Department Iqbal Durrani, however, his cell phone remained unattended till filing of the report.

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.

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