Arid University ‘refuses’ to provide record to audit team | Pakistan Today

Arid University ‘refuses’ to provide record to audit team

  • Audit Department may conduct special audit or recommend case to anti-corruption officials
  • Pro-VC also orders investigation for on-going project of agriculture engineering building

ISLAMABAD: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-Arid) administration has refused to provide record especially related to the Works Department to the audit team, resultantly the team recommended that the Audit Department at Lahore may ask the anti-corruption authorities to investigate the matter or a special audit may be conducted.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the Punjab Audit Department team headed by Nafees Shah has assigned the task to conduct audit of the Arid University; however the audit team has to leave its work half-way due to what the audit officer says non-cooperative attitude of the university administration.

They said that the audit team conducted audit of the university during July-August 2018. However, due to non-provision of record especially related to the Works Department, the team left its job incomplete and recommended that the Audit Department may ask the anti-corruption officials to probe the matter or a special audit may be conducted.

Besides, they said that the audit team also noticed that Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Sarwat Mirza of the university also ordered an inquiry for the on-going project of the agriculture engineering building. The sources said that the pro-vice chancellor constituted an inquiry team consisting of XEN Asim Gulzar, SDO Ahmad Saeed and Associate Engineer Sajid Abbas.

During the investigation, it is surfaced that an over payment of more than Rs 30 million is made by a former project director who was considered as a ‘front man’ of a former vice chancellor who was removed by the university syndicate during July this year.

“This is an example of one project and if other projects like construction of student hostels and residential flats at main campus, at sub campuses and completed projects during the tenure of the former vice chancellor may be evaluated by technical audit team, huge corruption can be unveiled,” they added.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Nafees Shah said the university administration did not fully cooperate with his audit team and refused to provide some relevant details regarding some projects. When asked about the internal inquiry report, he said that they asked the pro-vice chancellor to provide them the report; however, the administration refused to do so. He said that they could do nothing but gave written complaint in this regard.

He said that they did the audit and they would complete their work within one month; however the report will be filed till November 15. He said that they clearly mentioned their observations in the report that the university administration did not cooperate with them.

On the issue, Pro-VC Prof Dr Sarwat Mirza categorically refused the report and stated that they fully cooperate with the audit team that was why they did the audit otherwise they won’t do at all. But when asked that why the internal inquiry report was not provided to the audit team, he said that they wrote to him in this regard. However, they were asked to provide him a letter regarding formation of any such inquiry team, they didn’t provide any such letter.

The Pro-VC said that he neither formulated any such committee nor gave any mandate to inquire; however when asked about report of over payment, he said that they held internal meetings of the Works Department to review the projects, which is an internal exercise of any department to adjust the overpayment in the final bill if any. He said that the project has yet to complete and it would take few more months to complete so there was no question of any inquiry.

However, a senior official in the university told Pakistan Today that an internal inquiry was conducted by the Pro-VC for self-satisfaction after removal of the project director on syndicate order because all bills issued on his signature. He said that the Pro-VC wanted to ascertain that there might be no issue of billing bills that might create problems for him in which it surfaced that overbilling amounting Rs 30 million were paid.

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