Islamabad-The audit report of development infrastructure projects of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in federally charted universities has revealed that the commission released only 35 per cent of the total allocated funds.

The audit report has observed the non-utilisation of total allocated funds as mismanagement and missed targets for the year 2015-16.

For infrastructure development funds of the federally charted universities, the original allocation in 2015-16 was Rs1903.127 million and the final revised allocation raised the amount to Rs1965 million, the report said.

However, out of total allocated amount, Rs770 million was released. “The release of funds was short for Rs1195 million which is 65 per cent of the total allocation, said audit report.

The report observed that Rs770 million were released to HEC for execution of 15 development schemes in various universities but only Rs396.252 million was utilized.

The report said Rs373.748 million (48.53 per cent) were saved but the saving indicates that project management failed to utilise available resources, which led to non-achievement of planned objective due to ineffective financial management.

The audit reported that proper monitoring for the projects was not exercised for timely utilisation of the resources.

According to report, funds of Rs135 million were allocated against seven schemes during the previous financial year for which Rs760 million was released. From available funds, RS392.660 million (51.7 per cent) was saved. The audit observed, “Internal controls were not exercised efficiently to monitor the expenditure.”

The audit also identified expenditure against the schemes ‘up-gradation of Federal Government College F-7/2 to Federal Women University Islamabad was not incurred.

The amount released for the scheme was Rs10million. The audit indicated that planned targets were not achieved by the commission.

The report also disclosed that RS28.918 million of two projects was not released but the expenditure of the projects was incurred.

The audit said development funds were utilized without any authorization.

The HEC replying to audit report said that releases were made on the basis of progress and future plan and in certain cases funding was linked with the fulfilment of pre-requisites like grant of the charter by the federal government. It further replied that sum of Rs405 million was released for 3rd quarter in May 2016 with a delay of over months, which slightly affected the utilisation.

HEC in its reply to the audit said, five projects were at the preliminary stage of execution and funds were released keeping in view the physical progress, status, and requirement.

The commission also constituted a technical committee following the directions of the planning commission to review the architectural designs and drawings of new projects.

Responding to the audit objection raised on the released amount for Federal Women University, HEC replied that the releases to project were based on an indication from the respective forum for grant of the charter by Act of Parliament which was not accorded in due time.

“The funds were released as token money to project with consideration to initiate activities immediately after the enactment.”

HEC also explained that funds in two projects available with the managements were utilized on approved activities.

The commission said funding for the project “Strengthening of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) was linked with the issuance of a license from Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) for establishment and launching of television channel which was not materialized during 2015-16.

The commission also said funding to project i.e. the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology at Islamabad were stopped due to issues of governance and financial mismanagement.