Irregularities at govt agencies on the rise

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KATHMANDU, APR 13 – Irregularities in government agencies surged by 19.42 percent to Rs 43.71 billion in fiscal year 2013-14, according the 52th Annual Report of the Office of Auditor General (OAG) released on Sunday.

Financial Procedures Act 2007 has defined ‘irregularity’ as financial transactions that were conducted without complying with the provisions stated in the existing law, accounts not maintained as required by law and also transactions made in an irregular and irrational manner.

The irregularities in the fiscal year 2012-13 totalled Rs 36.60 billion, up from Rs 35.07 billion the previous fiscal, the report says.

Auditor General Bhanu Prasad Achayra has mentioned in the report that the irregularities have been on the rise as the concerned government agencies and responsible officials have not cleared the amount in time.

“Despite the directive of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee to the government, there has not been any improvement in financial accountability,” Acharya said.

OAG Spokesperson Baburam Gautam said that the irregularities had surged as the tendency of government officials indulging themselves in corruption has not changed. “If one office is barred from purchasing a vehicle, there is a trend of asking the contractor to purchase the vehicle and it is put out on rent,” he said.

According to him, the auditing of the ministries that are involved in large scale contracts such as the Physical Infrastructure Ministry, Urban Development Ministry, Local Development Ministry and Defence Ministry also contributed to unearth irregularities.

Over 58 percent of irregularities were found to have taken place at five ministries getting the largest share of resources. The Physical Infrastructure Ministry has the highest rate of irregularities (14.43 percent) followed by Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (12pc), Urban Development Ministry (10.85pc),  Defence Ministry (10.13pc) and Finance Ministry (10.13pc).