A sum of over 18 million rupees is yet to be recovered from debtors relating to the registered radio communication equipment license holders of the private sector by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in the year ending December 31, 2003, the Auditor General said.
This had been outstanding for over two years, the report said. The report tabled in parliament last Friday also carried the TRC explanation, which said that a commission paper had been submitted to obtain the direction of the commission in respect of the collection of long out standings. ?Action has been taken on a continuous basis such as sending reminders, informing the legal obligation of frequency users to comply with the relevant sections of the Act, and carrying out investigations and visiting premises of frequency users,? the TRC explanation said.
The Auditor General said that accounting deficiencies amounted to Rs. 2.5 million in the sample audit, and therefore the existence of further accounting deficiencies could not be ruled out. However, TRC said the matter was brought to the notice of the chairman and was rectified.
Among other matters, the Auditor General said that settlement of advances had not been reviewed regularly to ensure timely settlement. Out of advances paid to the chairman, the balance remaining unsettled as at December 31, 2003 was Rs. 110,000. TRC said that advice of the Director General was sought in respect of Rs. 80,440 due to be settled by the former chairman. A letter has been sent to his permanent residence asking him to settle the matter.
TRC had also paid additional allowances and perks to its employees without obtaining permission from the relevant authority. A fuel allowance of Rs. 15,000 and transport allowance of Rs. 5,000 among others were the additional allowances. The report quoted the Auditor General as saying the TRC Director Generals explanation regarding this matter was `completely irrelevant`. The DG had said that ?the Commission is an independent institution within the government and does not directly fall under the provisions of Chapter xvii Article 140, Section 1 and 2 of the Constitution?.
The TRC said it had to offer attractive packages to attract qualified, skilled personnel. Approval from the Treasury will be sought in due course, it said.