Pakistan Procurement News Notice - 11649

Procurement News Notice

PNN 11649
Work Detail —- Former BISP chairperson’s name put on ECL on NAB chairman’s orders for her involvement in an embezzlement case ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior Wednesday put the name of former Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairman Farzana Raja on the Exit Control List (ECL) and communicated this development to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan Today has reliably learned. Well-informed sources aware of the development informed Pakistan Today that the interior ministry had put the name of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farzana Raja on ECL. They said that NAB had earlier requested the Ministry of Interior to include the name of the former BISP chairman on its ECL, after which the ministry had placed her name on ECL and also communicated this to NAB. The sources also said that NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, in an ongoing anti-corruption crackdown, had advised the officials concerned to open the BISP embezzlement case and complete it on a fast-track basis. They said that NAB chairman had advised the officials of the bureau to get Raja’s name placed on ECL. They also said that former NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudry had closed the case of corruption against Farzana Raja during his tenure. However, the country’s anti-corruption watchdog had now asked the interior ministry to put the name of Raja on ECL on the request of NAB chairman. Earlier, NAB had summoned the PPP leader in connection with embezzlement in BISP funds, but she failed to appear in the case. Nowadays, Farzana Raja is out of the country, they added. It is relevant to mention here that Raja was appointed as BISP chairperson in 2008. BISP was launched in July, 2008, with an immediate objective of consumption, smoothening and cushioning the negative effects of slow economic growth, food crisis and inflation on the poor class, particularly women, through the provision of monthly cash transfers to eligible families. Also, the long-term objectives of BISP include eradicating extreme and chronic poverty, women empowerment and achieving universal primary education targets. Initially, the programme provided assistance amounting to Rs 1,000 per month to each registered family. Later the amount was raised to Rs 1,200. Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claimed to have unearthed corruption of over Rs 3.8 billion in the BISP programme. Reportedly, around 20 cases of misappropriation of funds, irregular purchase of vehicles, wastage of money, awarding controversial contracts, overpayments, irregular procurements, illegal appointments and other irregularities have been detected in the programme. The biggest misappropriation of funds was allegedly made in the name of flood relief, where an amount of Rs 2.345 billion was paid to those people who remained unaffected by floods. Sources inside FIA said that another large amount of Rs 817.016 million was paid to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for data entry and verification, and for a media campaign on poverty survey public awareness without obtaining prior review and no-objection letter from the World Bank. Another corruption case involving Rs 27.9 million revolved around awarding a contract for a survey to a firm run by chartered accountants, the sources informed. The BISP management was accused of making an irregular payment of Rs 104 million as monthly operational charges for deployment of NADRA’s mobile vehicles for computerised national identity card (CNIC) registration of beneficiaries. According to reports, vehicles costing Rs 5.710 million were purchased allegedly in violation of the policy regarding official use of vehicles and monetisation and sale of official vehicles to grade 20 officials at throwaway prices. Further, management of the programme was accused of making 80 per cent advance payment of Rs 126.35 million for a poverty scorecard survey in Balochistan, in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules. The total cost of the project was Rs 156 million. Moreover, the management of BISP was also accused of paying Rs 9,000 per person, instead of Rs 1,000, in Larkana on political grounds on the third death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto. It was also learnt from media reports that an illegal transfer of Rs 381,000 was made to the personal accounts of provincial director generals and Rs 9 million was sent to the Balochistan director general of the programme under the Waseela-i-Haq on the verbal orders of BISP secretary. Moreover, the management also made an overpayment of Rs 128.7 million to a bank under m-banking arrangement (alternate payment mechanism) due to improper reconciliation of funds disbursed to beneficiaries through the smart card. The management was also accused of awarding Rs 48.049 million contract to Pakistan Post Foundation Press without open bidding for printing information letters for beneficiaries, banners and digital booklets, in clear violation of the PPRA Rules, 2004. In addition, the management was accused of drawing Rs 246,000 from the project, titled ‘Social Safety Net Technical Assistance’, without authorisation and payment of money to the former chairperson as TA/DA advance, fuel charges and mobile ceiling from the World Bank account. Yet another case was related to non-reconciliation of funds provided to Pakistan Post and commercial banks for disbursement of Rs 66 million, in violation of the set rules. The Federal Investigation Agency was also investigating a case of overpayment of Rs 116.4 million to Pakistan Post on account of 57,086 beneficiaries due to delayed payment in violation of BISP rules. The agency found illegalities/irregularities in appointments in BISP, illegal appointment of officials on deputation and irregular allowances, like house rent and conveyance, obtained by the employees
Country Pakistan , Southern Asia
Industry Services
Entry Date 11 Jan 2018

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