Different ministries and agencies under various ministries have been found to have procured different goods and utilities worth over Rs 72 billion without any bidding process.

The recently unveiled 57th annual report of the Office of Auditor General (OAG), which is based on audits of 5,619 government offices in fiscal year 2018-19, has revealed that five government ministries and their agencies and the parliament secretariat procured goods worth the given amount without any competitive bidding process allegedly against the mandate of the Public Procurement Act.

“It was found that the Secretariat of the Federal Parliament, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Ministry of Water Supply, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and 35 other government agencies had procured goods without a bidding process,” reads the OAG report.

As per the report, procurement process of different machinery equipment for projects, vehicles and other consultancy works carried out by these government agencies did not follow the tender process and awarded the procurement contract to different firms.

For instance, the Rail, Metro and Mono Rail Development Project was found to have purchased a hydraulic machine and construction materials worth Rs 98 million without any bidding process.

Government offices were also found to be apathetic in executing the given responsibilities, which has largely affected effective the use and mobilisation of government resources, as per the report.

The OAG states that such activities will also affect fiscal transparency.

The OAG report also indicates unnecessary expenditure by the government and its agencies resulting in a whopping rise in government arrears.

As per the report, the government’s arrears this year stands at Rs 664.4 billion, which is almost 100 per cent more compared to government’s arrears till last year worth Rs 377.4 billion.

As per the report, financial transactions of 5,619 bodies have been audited and arrears worth Rs 71 billion belonging to 110 federal government agencies and 77 district coordination committees are yet to be cleared. Similarly, arrears worth Rs 8.2 billion by 998 government agencies are yet to be cleared and local levels across the country have collective arrears worth Rs 38 billion.

Meanwhile, the OAG report also revealed that the government and its agencies reallocated budget worth billions to purchase luxury vehicles.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.