Islamabad: An audit report has catalogued more than 35 cases of massive corruption, as well as financial and administrative irregularities, in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Billion of rupees in public money have been squandered, according to the report.
One of the main reasons, according to the audit report, has been undue favouritism to the contractors. For their part, the audit teams have repeatedly cited weak internal controls of senior management as the reason for the loss of public money.
While discussing the budget and expenditure of the authority, the audit observed that its management has not been able to fully utilise its allocated budget for development. This has resulted in delays of various infrastructure programmes.
The total allocated budget for 2012-13 in non-development and annual development programme was Rs42,432.56 million against which an expenditure of Rs39,684.70 million was incurred. This resulted in a saving of Rs2,747.86 million, representing 6.48 per cent of total budget allocation.
The audit noted, in the non-development budget, financial charges are 935. Some 94 per cent more than the budgeted figures of 2012-13 primarily due to deduction of 2.5 per cent Zakat by National Savings Centre on interest of deposits.
Audit further noted, in annual development programme (ADP) budget, there was a saving of Rs1, 368.05 million representing 6.73 per cent of the budget allocation.
Massive corruption and financial irregularities discovered by audit included excessive expenditure of Rs1,057.01 million due to irregular execution of work. Rule-20 of Public Procurement Rules, 2004 stated that the open competitive bidding process shall be the principal method of procurement of goods, services and works.
The audit noted that PC-1 of New Benazir Bhutto International Airport project, Islamabad approved in March 2008 contained a provision of Rs40.08 million for the Cargo Terminal. The construction of a Cargo Complex was undertaken in December 2012 before completion of the Airside infrastructure. The foundation work of the Cargo Complex was executed through a Variation Order valuing Rs379 million under the existing contract of Package-01.
The second case of massive financial irregularity pertains to the extra contractual decisions involving unwarranted payments of Rs4,083.81 million.
The audit noted that the Project Management Consultant (PMC) for New Benazir Bhutto International Airport Project, Islamabad, was also nominated as the engineer for the project.
The audit observed that Package-1 (Airside Infrastructure Civil Works) of the project was awarded to a Joint Venture firm in August 2008 with the contract cost of Rs 11.82 billion. The joint venture was irregularly changed to another in January 2010. After entering into the new JV, a series of claims under dispute were raised by the contractor.