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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign ministry and its overseas missions spent Rs90.483m during 2004-06 on furnishing offices with new furniture and carpets and buying luxury cars, computers and gifts without fulfilling mandatory formalities.
Auditors’ objections about the spending have been presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), sources said yesterday.
A report by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) said public money had been spent hastily and in an ill-considered manner merely because it was available or to avoid the lapse of grants.
“A rush of expenditure, particularly in the closing months of the financial year, is regarded as a breach of financial regularity,” it said.
The report said the audit had observed that the spending on furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment had been done without inviting tenders and obtaining sanction from the competent authority.
The ministry had been one of the most spendthrift government departments which needed to enforce financial discipline on its officers, it said.
AGP Buland Rana said the main issue was wasn’t how much money the ministry had spent exclusively on furnishing its offices and providing vehicles to its staff overseas, but the attitude.
“In many instances, one can see that the ministry went ahead with a shopping spree without fulfilling formalities, believing that an ex-post facto approval of the expenditures will not be a problem,” he said.
Rana said the mission in Brussels spent Rs10m on buying furniture during 2005-06. “I cannot understand what was the emergency behind buying new furniture that the mission couldn’t wait for its formal approval.”