RAA recovers irregularities worth Nu 181.9mn in 2019

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The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) recovered Nu 181.9mn of the total irregularities worth Nu 3,531.698mn in 2019, according to the Annual Audit Report 2019 released this week.

However, the recovery amount is excluding the Nu 10. 356mn recovered from corporations and financial institutions that are retained in their respective Audit Recoveries Account (AAR).

The recovery in 2019 is an increase of 80.11% compared to Nu 100.993mn in 2018, the report states.

Moreover, the audit found out that of the total irregularities, Nu 2,226.454mn accounting for 59.93% were either resolved or were not found material for inclusion in AAR, based on the actions taken
 and responses received from various agencies.

While, the total unresolved significant irregularities having financial implication stands at Nu 1,415.153mn as of March this year that is an increase by 134.10% compared to irregularities of Nu 604.506mn in 2018.

The report states that the increase is mainly due to issues relating to construction of Gyelposhing-Nganglam road project under work and human settlements ministry, overdue loans and advances and embezzlement of funds under Bhutan National Bank Limited and embezzlement of funds reported under Dungkhag administration, Samdrupcholing in Samdrup Jongkhar. 

Among the budgetary agencies, the highest amount of irregularities is reported under work and human settlements ministry with Nu 520.026mn, followed by Dzongkhag administration, Samdrup Jongkhar with Nu 135.833mn, and home and cultural affairs ministry with Nu 46.183mn.

Among the non-budgetary agencies, the highest amount of irregularities was reported under Bhutan National Bank Limited with Nu 229.901mn followed by National Pension and Provident Fund with Nu 54. 427mn and Bhutan Postal Corporation limited with Nu 21.112mn. Additionally, from the irregularities categorized by the RAA, the highest amount of irregularities of Nu 871.384mn reported under the category-shortfalls, lapses, and deficiencies, followed by Nu 444.801mn under category, non-compliance to laws and rules.

Financial Institutions had the highest irregularities in shortfalls, lapses, and deficiencies category amounting to Nu 288.801mn followed by ministries with Nu 268.151mn and Dzongkhag administrations with Nu 185.137mn.

Ministries had highest irregularities amounting to Nu 342.843mn in non-compliance to laws and rules category followed by Dzongkhag administrations with Nu 34.997mn and autonomous agencies with irregularities of Nu 35.855mn.

The category, mismanagement had irregularities of Nu 67.056mn and embezzlement had Nu 29.443mn. The least amount was reported under the category-fraud, and corruption with Nu 2.469mn.

The highest irregularities under mismanagement were reported under autonomous agencies with Nu 25.566mn followed by ministries with Nu 20.432mn and Non-Governmental Organizations with Nu 16.298mn.

The highest irregularities in embezzlement were reported under ministries with Nu 14.113mn followed by corporations with Nu 7.667mn and Dzongkhag administrations with Nu 7.598mn.

In fraud and corruption category, out of the total irregularities reported, Nu 1.669mn pertained to autonomous agencies followed by Dzongkhag administrations with Nu 0.80mn.

The irregularities reported under the two Joint Audits of Hydro Power Projects amounted to Nu 380.624mn.

 For the fiscal year 2018-19, the government’s approved budget was Nu 45, 128.177mn against the estimated resources of Nu 39,893mn with a fiscal deficit of Nu 5, 234.324mn.

However, the budget outlay was revised to Nu 49,527.566mn and estimated resources to Nu. 43,634.711mn.

At the end of the fiscal year, the actual expenditure reported was Nu 44,054.133mn against realized resources of Nu 42,033.296mn resulting in resource gap of Nu 2,743.430mn (including Nu. 722.593mn advance or suspense) which is about 1.50% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The report contains unresolved significant issues pertaining to 10 ministries, 16 Dzongkhag administrations, 40 gewog administrations, 14 autonomous agencies, eight corporations, five financial institutions, and three Non-Governmental Organizations.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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