Thukten Zangpo 

The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) found that an accountant of Thimphu Thromde misappropriated Nu 1.06 million. 

Sonam Dema, an Accounts Assistant of Thimphu Thromde, was found involved in the misappropriation of physical cash shortage amounting to Nu 407,077 and the non-accounting of 33 non-revenue money deposits in the system, amounting to Nu 655,082.  

The non-revenue receipts were on account of refundable cash receipts for the lease of temporary space and vegetable sheds. 

Despite the cash shortage of Nu 407,077 was deposited by the accountant, the Authority stated that the lapses had occurred because of deficiencies in the internal control systems particularly in the management of non-revenue receipts. 

“There was no check and balance system as the accountant had single handedly managed the non-revenue receipts.” The audit report added that there was no record on reconciliation done and cash physical verification conducted. 

In the audit exit meeting, the authority stated that the accountant should be held accountable for temporary misuse of cash and appropriate disciplinary action initiated as per the rules on administrative and disciplinary action as applicable. 

On the non-revenue receipts, the RAA found out that the lapses had occurred due to inadequacies in the internal control system in the administration of non-revenue receipts. 

“There was no check and balance system as the accountant had single handedly managed the non-revenue receipts,” it said.

The said amount of Nu 655,082 had to be recovered from the accountant and deposited into Audit Recoveries Account with intimation to RAA. 

She has to deposit within one month of the issue of the report beyond which penalty at 24 percent per annum shall be levied as per Section 55(21) of the Audit Act of Bhutan 2018. The report was released in December last year. 

Since there is an element of fraud, the report stated that the case is referred to the Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation and the action against the official should be initiated based on the outcome of the investigation.  

The authority also asked the Thimphu Thromde to review the inadequacies and initiate robust internal controls including continuous monitoring and supervision over cash transactions to ensure proper account and prevent misuse or shortages. 

RAA also asked thromde to submit a report on the corrective actions taken or Action Taken Report to be submitted to the RAA within a month from the date of issue of the report.