ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under its prevention regime has identified irregularities in the project of 500-bed hospital and medical college of Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), to be built in the capital, and has directed the authorities concerned to provide the relevant record to it for further scrutiny.

“NAB under its prevention regime has identified shortfalls in 500-bed hospital project of WWF,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal Khan Tuesday said, adding that the shortcomings in the project were highlighted to the Director General WWF during his presentation to NAB authorities on February 7, 2013.

Workers’ Welfare Fund (WWF), a subsidiary of Ministry of Human Resource Development, was established under WWF Ordinance 1971 for providing low cost housing and other amenities to the industrial workers. It has finalised all arrangements to construct 500-bed Teaching Hospital and Medical & Dental College in Islamabad.

The NAB has said that administration of WWF has been directed to stop further work on the project till the bureau would scrutinise all the matters relating to it. After thoroughly going into the details of project and inspecting the relevant record, the bureau would decide whether the cases should be handed over to its enforcement wing or not for regular investigations and further necessary action.

The details reveal that ‘Project Prevention Committee’ of NAB has found several discrepancies in the project like ambiguous selection process of consultants and vague pre-qualification procedures. The committee has also smelled a rat for awarding the contract of civil, electromechanical and electro-medical works, collectively and through one package, to same contractor.

The NAB has also directed the administration of Workers Welfare Fund to provide details of the PC-I, details of pre-qualification process, list of applicants and bidders, bid awarding criteria, the summary of engineering estimates and names of project management team responsible for the contracting process and chronology of events since project inception. The bureau has directed the authorities to provide these details before taking any further action on the project, so as to make it competitive and compliant with PPRA (Public Procurement Authority Rules) Rules and other relevant regulations. NAB has claimed that it had accorded priority to looking into processes and procedures followed by various ministries prior to reaching the agreements, so that corruption could be prevented, before it occurrence.

An official hand out issued by NAB here on Tuesday says that the bureau under its ‘Awareness and Prevention Framework’, approved in May 2012 by the Chairman NAB, Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari, has accelerated its anti-corruption endeavours with a view that enforcement alone cannot eliminate corruption from our society. The directions of NAB regarding the 500-bed hospital project are part of this awareness and prevention framework.

For this purpose, NAB has said that it had engaged various regulators and departments to scrutinize their structural and resource mechanism of their set-ups to fight against prevalent challenges of corruption and for finding solutions to make them more robust, effective, transparent and contributive to anti-corruption drive under the framework.