Yangchen C Rinzin 

The Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women (RENEW) secretariat clarified that the significant unresolved irregularities amounted to Nu 5.910 million reflected in the Annual Audit Report 2020 were resolved earlier this year.

The report, which was released last week, reflected irregularities against unpaid dues, unnecessary cash withdrawal, diversion of project funds, and excess accumulation of prior year advances until January 2021.

The RENEW official said that all the irregularities were resolved within the stipulated time period before March 2021 and memos were dropped except for one.

“The irregularities were resolved on time, that’s why we have all the audit clearance,” the official said. “The one that was not resolved was related to the government’s e-PEMS system.”

An official from the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) said that although irregularities were resolved, it was resolved only in April 2021 instead of January 31 2021.

The official said that in any audit observation, all agencies are provided an opportunity to resolve audit issues within a deadline.

“In this case, the issues were supposed to be resolved by January 31 this year,” the official said. “We also send a notification to all agencies clearly stating that if issues are not resolved within the time, all unresolved irregularities would be reported in the Annual Audit Report 2020.”

The official said that although the irregularities were resolved, they were resolved only in April after the report was prepared.

The office record showed that only four of the five irregularities were resolved. The irregularity of excess accumulation of prior year advances of Nu 2.180 million was yet to be resolved.

Meanwhile, to avoid such confusion with any agencies in the future and bring consistency in the annual audit report, the RAA, henceforth will publish the audit report on November 11 every year which is six months ahead of current practice.

The official said that this was to ensure that the report remains relevant to the particular financial year.

The current practice is that by the time the audit report is tabled in the Parliament the report would be late by almost two years losing the relevance.

The Annual Audit Report 2020-2021 is expected to publish this November and then table in the Parliament during the winter session.

Edited by Tshering Palden