ISLAMABAD - The Public Accounts Committee on Friday found irregularities in different contracts of Benazir Income Support Program as the prescribed rules and regulations were ignored. The committee, chaired by Shehbaz Sharif, reviewed the audit objections of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The parliamentary accountability committee was informed that even Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) did not conduct for many years. About the matter of selection of advertising firm without due evaluation Rs1647.8million, the audit officials informed that the prescribed rules and regulations were not followed.

Audit officials informed that the BISP management hired the services of M/S Adgroup, M/S Interflow communications, M/S Maxim (Pvt) and M/S Midas for various print and electronic advertising during 2012-12 and paid Rs1647.486million.

It was informed that the entire process of shortlisting and final selection was carried out without the involvement of representative of Press Information Department (PID). The four advertising firm were appointed without due evaluation of bids in violation of Rs29 and 30(1) of the Public Procurement Rules, 2004. The chairman PAC, expressing displeasure over the irregularity, asked the concerned authorities to share record of the matter till Monday.

PTI’s Manza Hassan said that the former chairperson of the BISP Farzana Raja to share her views. While, PML-N’s Sheikh Rohail Asghar strongly opposed the idea to summon former chairperson as Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) would give the response of this matter.

Reviewing the audit objection undue favour extended to State Life Insurance Corporation worth Rs2648.74million and award of work to NADRA without open competition worth Rs73.7million, the audit official informed that the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) was not held in five years. Chairman PAC Shehbaz Sharif asked the BISP authority to share report within a week about the whole situation.

About regulations for disbursement of funds not approved by the BISP worth Rs74,412, the audit officials informed that the BISP management violated the rules.

The BISP management made payments during 2010-12 under poverty scorecard system, parliamentarian system, Waseela-e-Haq, Waseela-e-Rozgaar, Waseela-e-Sehat, Emergency Relief Package and IDPs violating rules. Taking notice of alleged misappropriation, the chairman PAC asked the concerned department to hold Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting and share the details with the PAC.

About the irregular appointment of State Life Insurance Corporation without open competition of worth Rs2747.2 million, the audit officials informed the prescribed rules and regulations were not followed.

The BISP management paid Rs2747.2 million to State Life Insurance Corporation during 2010-12 on account of Group Life Insurance and Health Insurance without following rules, audit officials said.

PAC Chairman Shehbaz Sharif, in his first reaction, referred the matter to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The idea for referring the matter to FIA was opposed by PPP-P’s Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and proposed to give a chance to discuss the matter in Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC).

PTI’s Fakhar Imam endorsed proposal to send the matter to DAC. Accepting the proposal floated by the rest of members and asked the concerned organisation to hold Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) and share report within week.

To a matter of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the chairman PAC, MD PEPRA and DG FIA have to summon secretary CAA on coming Thursday to brief the committee. Unsatisfied with the briefing, the chairman expressed displeasure with the concerned officials of CAA for not satisfying the committee. PML-N’s senior member Khwaja Asif proposed to review PPRA rules. “There is a need to revisit PPRA rules as it creates a wall to fix responsibility,” he said. A member Syed Hussain Tariq even commented that MD PPRA have no understanding about the PPRA rules.