The office of the Accountant General Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) is another government department with severe mismanagement. The malpractices of the AGPR office were confirmed by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, who affirmed that the office was causing a loss of up to Rs175 billion per annum to the exchequer.

The inefficiency and corruption going in the department are systematic and entrenched. Public sector purchases were noticeably costlier than similar procurements made in the private sector, due to bureaucratic red-tape and instances of corruption and bribes at every juncture of the process. It was considered routine practice for contractors to pay bribes for clearance of their bills in this department to get payments, making bribery very much part of the systematic running of the office. These losses were covered by expecting suppliers to overestimate their costs. Thus, mismanagement and bribery seemed to exist at every turn of a transaction, which culminated into a massive loss for the national exchequer.

The fact that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is holding governmental departments to account and exposing the malpractices in them is a good step, which sets it apart from its political rivals. The party came to power on the promise of accountability and admittance of misconduct is the first step towards accountability. Yet the office of the AGPR is an instrumental one, and the need for reform in it is urgent; just exposure of its misdeeds at this stage is too little and too slow. The government’s strategy before has been to replace those in vital positions, but considering this corruption has existed and sustained for ten years, this will not be enough. Those incriminated should be held to account immediately and the government needs to enact well-thought-out reforms. These changes need to take place keeping in mind that these massive losses were allowed to be incurred in a cash-strapped economy, where the government has had to tighten its grip on expenditure at every turn.