OAG to look into motor vehicle usage by govt entities

Published On: June 24, 2018 05:45 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, June 24: Office of the Auditor General is including use of motor vehicles in its performance audit for the current fiscal year for providing an in-depth analysis of the use of motor vehicles by government agencies.

Use of taxpayers’ money to purchase motor vehicles for public offices is increasing with each passing year. The demand for cars from newly created provinces and local units is also very high. This prompted OAG to select use of vehicle under its performance audit. The findings will be included in the OAG’s annual report to be unveiled in April next year.

Performance audit is carried out on a broader issue in which several public entities are associated with. Auditor General Tanka Mani Sharma said that the issue of managing motor vehicles has become very pressing as the government is spending huge amount of money to purchase cars and other motor vehicles. Also, there are no standard rules on use of motor vehicles by government employees.

The government has spent Rs 7.5 billion to purchase motor vehicles and several public entities are spending more than the money allotted through budget transfer.

“This performance audit is also important for making standardization of use of vehicles by different government employees. It will end the practice of using getting vehicle facility through favoritism and nepotism,” added Sharma. 

OAG also picked the issue for detailed investigation because of several media reports. Its report, which will be tabled in the parliament, can provide inputs for the legislature to take needful steps for bringing about reforms in use of motor vehicles. 

Government offices often purchase motor vehicles without conducting need assessments and irregularities have been reported in vehicle purchases by public offices. Recent example is the purchase of cars by the Election Commission during elections last year.

The OAG’s move to look into use of motor vehicles by government offices has come at a time when the government has adopted austerity in purchase of motor vehicles and foreign junkets.

Meanwhile, OAG held a discussion with government secretaries and chief of public entities on Friday to end irregularities in use of motor vehicles. Speaking at the meeting, Secretary of Public Procurement Monitoring Office, Madhu Prasad Regmi, said that a separate standard bid documents (SBD) should be prepared for controlling corruption and collusion with traders by making specifications fit for only one or few suppliers. 

“SBD will also make the procurement process competitive and more transparent,” added Regmi.

Government secretaries also underlined the need to put in place a mechanism for controlling expenses in maintenance of motor vehicles.

“There should also be an easy mechanism to get rid of motor vehicles that are no longer operable,” said Regmi.

Secretary of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Dinesh Thapaliya, said that the government should also set criteria for use of motor vehicle in provincial and local levels.

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