The Auditor General of Pakistan has revealed that the Ministry of Law and Justice had violated the Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules in releasing advertisements and funds to the legal bodies.
According to the Audit Report 2019-20, the law ministry availed the services of 487 lawyers without publishing advertisements and a fee of more than Rs5.8 million was paid in this regard.
The audit officials pointed out that availing the services of lawyers without publishing advertisements was a violation of PPRA law. The services of lawyers were availed in 2018-19.
The audit report divulged that the Ministry of Law and Justice had issued two advertisements against Rs0.6 million for the recruitment purpose.
It stated that the advertisements were released but the process of recruitment could not be started.
The auditors suggested recovering the amount given under the head of advertisements from the officials concerned.
The audit officials also raised objections over the issuance of funds to 31 bar associations by the law ministry and noted that they were not held accountable for the amounts given. The bar associations were provided more than Rs20.96 million.
The audit officials also questioned the Judicial Development Fund issued by the Law and Justice Commission.
The report stated that more than Rs170 million were given to the Lahore and Sindh High Courts during the period between 2012 and 2016.
It was further observed that the audit record from both the high courts had not been obtained.
The audit report also noted that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had purchased 24 non-custom paid luxury vehicles in violation of the rules.
During the period from 2017 to 2019, the investigation agency had purchased luxury cars which included BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Mark-X, Camry and Hilux Surf and did not get the non-custom paid vehicles registered.
The report said that according to the Staff Car Rule, no FIA official was authorised to retain a luxury car.
On being identified by the audit officials, the FIA had returned eight out of 24 cars to DG Customs Intelligence.
On the objection raised by the auditor general, the FIA maintained that in view of the requirement of vehicles, a request for increase in the number of cars had been sent to the interior ministry.
The audit officials expressed reservations over the FIA’s response and called for an investigation.