Thursday, July 8, 2010

The RAA report 2009 is flawed!

The audit report of Chukha Dzongkhag according to the latest report is based on the significance of the findings and more importantly, the recommendations made to mend and avoid further lapses. This however, is not true with regard to Tala Hydroelectric Power Authority (THPA).

“We are proud and grateful that Tala Hydro Power Authority (THPA) is one of the biggest projects ever in the country. It as well, so far, is the biggest revenue generator for the government. However, the audit report does not have any details,” the Opposition Leader, Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay said adding that
If the audit of the THPA as per the report was carried out to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the management and share experiences from the pioneer of mega hydro project for the benefit of managing projects of similar magnitude in the future, “the question is how was the audit done without any numerical details on the report?” questioned a civil servant seeking anonymity.
Sangay Dorji, (name withheld) claims that he is related to THPA one way or the other and had read the report thoroughly said, “the report though might claim to have submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR), however, on the report I don’t see any in black and white.”
The only positive thing in the report about the THPA audit as mentioned in the report is the finding by the Royal Audit Authority (RAA). And that being having successful at meeting the rising demand for power in India, which naturally means a good source of income for the country.
As pointed out in the report the “initial survey and investigations on geological parameters on which the DPR was premised was inadequate. This led to gross underestimation of Bill of Quantities (BoQ) causing substantial actual variations and execution of extra items enhancing the cost of the project.”
The Opposition leader pointed out in the Parliament how the cost of civil works had gone up by more than six times the original estimated cost.
The Opposition leader said that the penal clauses were hardly invoked on the contractors. “Such negligent practice could in the future influence other big upcoming hydro projects to follow the same practice as well,” he said.
“No recommendations is worthy if the audit report in the first placed is flawed because it lacks the details. And how could such a big project’s audit was not in detail just as other audit reports? This is a mysterious,” a senior civil servant said.

The Annual Audit Report 2009 was compiled from 609 audit reports issued during 2009. The total unresolved significant irregularities reported in the Annual Audit Report amounted to Nu. 348.34 million as compared to Nu. 151.00 million that was reported in the Annual Audit Report 2008.

The higher figure this year is mainly due to huge overdue advances in some of the agencies particularly under the Ministry of Education and Tourism Council of Bhutan. The RAA report justifies this saying that the advances in these two agencies pertained to major procurement and ongoing construction activities and that it was “attributable to the substantial increase in the number of reports issued during the year.”

Because the Annual Audit Report 2009 was expected to be comprehensively a significant unresolved findings detected during financial year most people I talked to yawned as they were approached.

Dasho Sonam Penjor the Member of Parliament and the Chairman of Public Account Committee agrees that the audit report “can be wrong sometimes” mainly because of the time factor. “By the time the agencies submit their report to the concerned authorities the deliberations would already have been done,” he said.

Particularly on the THPA matter the Chairman said that the discussion on it’s audit report will continue in the sixth session of the parliament. “We need to hear from RAA and THPA authorities to come to a conclusive audit report,” he said adding that the validity of the current report is questionable.

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