The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reviewed five Performance Audit Reports (PARs) listed by Royal Audit Authority (RAA) during the 7th and 8th session of the second parliament that were issued from April to August 2016.
The report also includes consolidated review reports submitted to the Committee by RAA dated 30 March 2017. It also states that the committee’s recommendations for every performance report are based on observations and comments made by RAA on the implementation of their recommendations by the concern agencies.
The reviewed PAR includes review of Business Income Tax (BIT) administration, disaster management, Gewog Development Grant (GDG), Joint-performance audit of PHPA- I and performance audit report on IT audit of Public Expenditure Management System (PEMS).
On BIT, RAA observed a number of lapses and made 11 recommendations: four had been fully implemented, six partially implemented while one did not required any action.
RAA recommended that RAMIS should incorporate features to facilitate and capture registration of trade licenses and other relevant information, which the PAC felt did not need any specific action because RAMIS already has the required features.
Instead the PAC recommended the ministry take responsibility of bringing any informal trade through issuance of license and integrate the online licensing system of DoT, DoI and DCSI with RAMIS.
On disaster management the RAA made 11 recommendations of which all were implemented.
The PCA recommended that DDM being the nodal agency implement the Disaster Management Act of Bhutan 2013 and spearhead establishment of a sustainable trust fund.
On GDG, RAA has issued nine recommendations but only one recommendation related to strengthening the capacity of gewog administration had been implemented.
The PCA has recommended that the government revisit the GDG guidelines and strengthen the monitoring mechanisms at the gewog level for activities funded through GDG and accountability for non-compliance should be fixed on themselves.
On the joint-performance audit of PHPA- I, RAA made 12 recommendations of which seven were not implemented while five were partially implemented.
The five partially implemented recommendations are: to have clear policy guidelines on fund management; prioritizing the synchronisation of packages and works by the management; issuance of address of provident fund; more attention to environmental and ecological initiatives; and strengthening of monitoring and supervision initiatives.
The PAC has recommended adequate time and resources to the consultant for the preparation for DPR in the future. The consultant, management and experts should also consider all reports issued and relevant studies made before taking decisions for any changes, in addition to amending or upgrading provision of DPR.
The PAC also recommended that besides preparing realistic DPR, the BoQ should also be prepared in line with the DPR so that changes and variation could be minimized during the construction stage.
The other recommendation states that it is necessary to review the relevance and applicability of Indian standards, rates and guidelines in Bhutan, or they should propose for appropriate modification to suit the Bhutanese requirements and conditions.
“The regard to use of lower specified materials and over excess payment of PF component needs to be recovered,” states the recommendation by PAC.
On the performance audit report on IT audit of PEMS, the RAA issued 17 recommendations of which 10 have been implemented while seven are partially implemented.
Some of the implemented recommendations are on adequate processing controls, institution of proper segregation of duties and performing data cleaning of PEMS database by the department.
Development of comprehensive ICT security policy, establishment of effective access control management and institution of effective password management are the partially implemented recommendations.
The PCA recommended the finance ministry should take serious note on the partially implemented recommendations and take necessary steps to improve the system.
They also recommended the ministry identify other issues related to PEMS, left out by RAA, and assign a focal person to handle issues related to PEMS.