ISLAMABAD - An audit report has revealed irregular appointments in the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, in disregard of recruitment criteria, and concealment of actual balance of Rs 326.99 million in budget estimates that were reported incorrectly by the university. The report said that the scrutiny of budget estimates for the year 2008-09 disclosed that neither investments, nor balances of different accounts of the ending year were shown in the budget estimates, which amounted to Rs 326.99 million. Not only balances were concealed but the budget was also shown in deficit. The university informed the Higher Education Commission that only Rs 6.01 million were available in different accounts, whereas Rs 326.99 million were available in the form of cash balance and investments while the same was also communicated to HEC later on, but no action was taken on concealment of actual amount. However, the university management replied to the audit objections that the budget estimates are prepared well before closure of financial year, so the actual balances in bank accounts of UHS could not be shown in the budget estimates, nor it is mandatory. The report also highlights that the university made appointments without advertisements of the vacant posts and no service rules of qualification, age and other criteria were followed for certain posts and even in some cases appointments were made against non-existent posts. In certain cases appointments were made on fixed pay but the officers were extended extra facilities and fringe benefits, which were unauthorised. The management replied that except for a few cases of executive officers in very beginning, all recruitments even those on contract basis were made after proper advertisement and selection procedure. The audit also pointed out heavy expenditure of 154.04 millions in comparison of pass out ratio of MPhil students. A comparison of database of MPhil students with actual expenditure incurred on their education, training, and research suggests that the expenditure shown was not justified. As many as, 133 students were admitted during the year 2004-05 to 2007-08, out of them 64 students appeared under the examination, whereas only 11 scholars passed the examination and the degrees were issued to only six students against the total expenditure of Rs 54.04 million. About 17 students were struck off due to desertion. All the scholars admitted in MPhil programme get stipend of Rs 20,000 per month. These scholars are bound to repay the stipend received in case of desertion but no record of recovered amount was shown to audit. The management was of the view that MPhil is a research degree and in medical sciences the research involving collection of research samples of patients from various hospitals is exhaustive and time consuming. So far 42 research scholars have qualified MPhil as against 11 mentioned by audit. These students are now rendering services in various medical and dental colleges of Pakistan as faculty members. It also worth maintaining that facilities or services provided in producing research and scholars or teachers for medical institutions cannot be measured in monetary terms. As such expenditure on faculty with passed out students cannot be compared. The audit also has pointed out extra expenditure of Rs 1.99 million on hiring of building for visiting faculty due to delay in 'construction of hostel facility. The project 'construction of hostel facility for visiting faculty at UHS started in March 2006 and was to be completed within 12 months. However, except advertisement charges and consultancy fee amounting to Rs 226,939 no other expenditure was incurred. The extended period of the project again expired in June 2008. The university sustained the loss in the form of payment of rent of a building hired for housing visiting faculty as an interim arrangement till completion of the hostel. The management replied that delay occurred because a lot of time was consumed in getting approval of design of the building due to difference of opinion between consultants and architects. The project is now in final stages. The audit also objected on irregular expenditure of Rs 7,342,181 and overpayment of Rs 2,847,779 by the university administration.