The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) conducted the ‘Review of Government Vehicles and Foreign Vehicle Quota System’. The study was carried out with an overall audit objective to determine whether the government vehicle and foreign vehicle quotas were operating economically, efficiently and effectively.
Apart from that, the review was conducted also to review and assess the adequacy of legislation and policy framework to plan, organize, control, direct, coordinate and manage government vehicles and foreign vehicle quota system, to ascertain some of the financial and economical implication of the foreign vehicle quota system, and to assess whether the allotment of government vehicles to the agencies are based on the mandate and responsibilities of the agencies.
The report also states that the other specific objective is also to assess the adequacy of the controls to ensure economic use of government vehicles, to assess the extent to which the budgetary agencies are complying with the applicable rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines in place. Evaluation was carried out on monitoring and coordination mechanism instituted to monitor the movement of government vehicles, and the completeness and accuracy of government vehicle and foreign vehicle quota system database.
Meanwhile, the report also stated that the RAA identified and selected 10 ministries, 34 autonomous agencies and all 20 dzongkhags for the review. Information have been collected from the dzongkhags, agencies and gewogs using three Google survey forms.
RAA also visited 10 ministries, Royal Court of Justice, dzongkhag administrations (Chhukha and Paro), thromdes (Thimphu and Phuentsholing) and the National Land Commission Secretariat.
The report highlights positive initiatives as well as shortcomings and deficiencies observed by the RAA. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has adopted basis such as surrendering pool vehicles, which is more than 15 years without replacement, provide minimum utility vehicles to secretariats, departments, dzongkhags, drungthrims and drungkhags besides developing guidelines for the standardization of designated vehicles.
Many agencies have maintained proper records pertaining to repair and maintenance, POL and movement of vehicles and some agencies have set a minimum permissible limit for mileages, the report states.
Notwithstanding these developments, RAA noted inadequacies, inconsistencies and shortcomings resulting from unclear strategy on the government vehicles, lack of clarity on the legal and policy framework, weak administrative, supervisory and monitoring controls in the administration of government vehicles and foreign vehicle quota system.
RAA pointed out some of the deficiencies such as the lack of policy or strategy in place. In absence of overall clear strategy, there is no overall framework that would serve as the guiding tools for determining overall fleet positions, realistic economic useful life of vehicles, standards on repair & maintenance and standardization of types of vehicles based on the nature of duties.
“Inadequacies in the allotment of the designated vehicle were noted, where 167 officials, who are not eligible or not covered by the extant rules and regulations found using the common pool vehicles as designated vehicles. Inadequacies in Rules and Regulations were observed. There were instances of inconsistent provisions resulting in variations in the application of some clauses in the rules and regulations for management”, says the report.
Likewise, inadequacies in determination of fleet positions and distributions were noted, inadequacies in the standardization of government vehicles were also observed. The review observed lack of clarity in the legislation and policy framework in the foreign vehicle quota system and the misuse of foreign vehicle quota were also observed among the individuals where most individuals do not abide by legal agreement and most of the vehicle quotas are sold in open market or, in some cases, given to or used by another individuals, family members or friends.
Based on the review and issues, RAA has provided 11 recommendations requiring appropriate policy interventions at appropriate level.