Dechen Dolkar

An accountant in Dagana has allegedly misappropriated Nu 5.5 Million (M) from the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 of Dorona, Gesarling, Gozhi, and Khebisa gewogs.

The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) forwarded the case to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) implicating the accountant’s misappropriation of the funds.

The accountant was accused of misappropriating funds for double payment of utilities and equipment bills, booking of expenditure without supporting documents, double payment for procurement of laptops and desktops, work executed without budget provision, and non-surrender of unspent closed work fund.

Dorona gewog

The accountant has allegedly made a double payment of Nu 69,918 for utilities and equipment bills.

It was pointed out that the lapses have occurred due to the acceptance of payment based on photocopy invoices and supporting documents, attributed to the accountant’s failure to verify the original invoices.

The accountant booked Nu 550,025 for expenditures without proper supporting documents. The accountant had passed the Disbursement Voucher (DVs) and Other Voucher (OVs) in his own name.

The gewog administration approved a bill amounting to Nu 110,700 for the procurement of one set of desktop, two laptops and a scanner. However, during a physical verification, officials couldn’t find laptops and records of stock entries.

The accountant executed work without a budget provision of Nu 1.4M. The construction of a farm road from Nimtola to Pokharidara under Dorona gewog was awarded to Sherab Hiring, Dagana on an hourly basis at Nu 2,900 per hour with a total amount of Nu 1.4M.

Upon verification of the final bill, it was found that the payment was booked from the closed work without budget provision. Further, the work was executed without estimates and actual quantification of the total work.

According to the outstanding public work advances from the e-PEMS, a fuel advance amounting Nu 10,000 was unadjusted against the Bhutan Oil Distributor, Dagapela as of June 30 2022.

The lapses were due to failure on the part of the dealing accountant to keep track of the advance payments and make adjustments before the closure of the financial year.

Gesarling gewog

The improvement of the farm road from Lhamoizingkha Highway to Gangjab was awarded to DB Construction, with a total amount of Nu 2.5M. However, about Nu 2.2M was paid to the contractor, Nu 238,087 remained unspent, and it was not surrendered to the government.

The accountant was also accused of making payments of around Nu 1.226M without proper supporting documents, indicating negligence on the part of the accountant and depositing funds in his personal account.

It was pointed out that the gewog administration should initiate appropriate administrative action against the dealing accountant for depositing huge government funds into his personal account and failing to produce supporting documents.

The accountant allegedly made double payments of Travel Allowance and Daily Allowance (TA/DA), resulting in an excess payment of Nu 12,000. The double payment of TA/DA had occurred mainly due to officials submitting the same claims twice and the accountant failed to verify.

 Gozhi gewog

The gewog administration procured a laptop for Nu 68,490 and the accountant was accused of double payment of this amount.

The double payment resulted from the acceptance of photocopy bills and supporting documents, as the accountant neglected verifying the admissibility of claims.

The gewog administration made payments of Nu 1.6M without proper supporting documents indicating negligence on the part of the accountant. The accountant passed the DVs and OVs in his own name.

According to the sub-ledger, out of the total closed work fund balance of Nu 1.5, a sum of Nu 1.2M pertained to prior-year unspent fund which was brought forward and out of which Nu 1.4M were utilised during FY 2021-2022 and a balance of Nu 242,185 were unspent closed work fund which needs to be surrendered.

Khebisa gewog

During the financial year 2021-2022, the gewog administration, Khebisa had incurred an expenditure of Nu 53,990 on the procurement of one laptop from BD Commercial.

Upon verification of payment vouchers vis-à-vis physical verification of laptop, it was found out that the Lenovo laptop received by the gewog administration was not as per the specification.

As per the supply order, the specification was Lenovo 15” laptop, Ci7. However, the laptop supplied was Lenovo 15”, Ci3.