Massive irregularities, corruption surface in GB development projects | Pakistan Today

Massive irregularities, corruption surface in GB development projects

–Chief secretary issues guidelines to secretaries for strict implementation

ISLAMABAD: As the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), like other parts of the country, has actively started an investigation into corruption cases in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), the chief secretary of the area has also unearthed massive irregularities, violation of rules and mismanagement in development projects.

While taking serious notice of the illegal practices in the execution of development projects and violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, GB Chief Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar has issued strict guidelines to all secretaries and heads of departments to ensure transparency in development activities.

Through a letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, sent to all secretaries and head of department recently, the chief secretary said that it has been observed that the nation-building departments, development schemes and major procurements do not ensure adherence to the public procurement laws and neither is financial and administrative discipline maintained within departments and attached wings.

As per the letter, instances have also been observed where works have been executed without legal pre-requisites, thus creating unwarranted and unapproved liabilities. Execution of works beyond the approved scope, irregular use of 15 per cent repeat order limits, qualitative aspects and not following the development calendar are major concerns.

Owing to the aforesaid unprofessional attitude, prima facie, towards public spending in GB, I am compelled to issue instructions for compliance in letter and spirit by all the departments of GB,” the chief secretary said in the letter.

As per instructions, PPRA rules made thereunder shall be adhered to in letter and spirit by all the administrative departments, attached departments and their subordinate offices.

According to the instruction, no unapproved liability whatsoever shall be a valid charge upon the public exchequer. Only those development works, which are duly approved by the competent forum, funded, technically sanctioned and awarded through valid procurement processes, shall be admissible for payment by the respective authorities. Principal accounting officers and DDOs shall be held personally responsible for any violation.

Emergency works duly covered under rules, shall only be admitted as an exception after due justification in writing by the PAO concerned. Works and Matured Liabilities in the garb of emergency shall be strictly discouraged. Any officer will be personally liable for payment of such liabilities besides disciplinary action under E&D rules shall also be invoked against such delinquents.

The letter says that execution of works beyond the approved scope unless executed with prior approval of the competent forum shall be barred. The 15 per cent permissible limit for repeat order shall be used only for increased quantities as per site conditions and/or unforeseen project conditions. The additional scope shall not be entertained within 15 per cent repeat order provision of PPRA rules.

It says that the detailed SOPs for emergency public works are also being issued separately and shall be considered part of these instructions.

Administrative secretaries and heads of the attached departments shall ensure the aforesaid development discipline within their offices and subordinate field formations. Violation of any of the aforesaid instructions would entail disciplinary proceedings under GB E&D Rules 2011, without any exception, against delinquent officers/officials as well as their supervisory officers.

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