CAG finds monetary oddities at EC

The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has distinguished monetary abnormalities in the Election Commission's use on paying a considerable lot of its mentors in front of the last parliamentary surveys and upazila races. 

It has brought up review criticisms, saying government recompenses were given against positions, including that of "uncommon speakers" and "course counselors", despite the fact that the money service didn't endorse the situations for the preparation programs, shows a working paper of an EC meeting, hung on January 3. 

The trainings were coordinated by the Electoral Training Institute (ETI) of EC for surveys authorities in front of the eleventh public political decision in December 2018 and upazila parishad surveys in March and June 2019. 

Overseer of Revenue review of the CAG, the nation's preeminent review foundation and furthermore an established body, mentioned the review criticism including more than Tk 7 crore over the preparation program, shows the EC archives. 

Of it, review complaint including Tk 1.5 center was raised on offering stipends to the individuals who held "unapproved positions" like "exceptional speakers" and "course counselors" when surveys preparing was coordinated the nation over. Review complaints including Tk 47.44 lakh was made for similar purpose behind preparing programs held at the ETI head office in the capital, shows EC reports. 

ETI authorities said the central political decision magistrate, political race chiefs and high ranking representatives of the EC secretariat, including its secretary, gone to the trainings as "exceptional speakers". 

The political race magistrates and the EC secretary went to as "course counsels" while the secretary and ETI DG as "course chiefs", said the authorities. 

"It has additionally been seen that a similar individual gathered stipends for various trainings that occurred at various corners of the nation around the same time," as per a review complaint letter from the CAG. 

EC authorities, in any case, said there was no extent of bringing up such review criticisms. Since the commission isn't under any service or government division, it doesn't have to take endorsement from the money service to pay any "unique speakers" or "course guides". 

"Positions like uncommon speakers, course consultant and course chief were affirmed by the commission. The commission itself is enabled to go through apportioned cash in accordance with the Election Commission Secretariat Act, 2009," EC Senior Secretary Md Alamgir told this paper. 

"They [CAG] have asked us either to send an answer or to discount the cash. We're setting up the appropriate response. We've just sent letters to the EC workplaces at the thana, region levels and the ETI, looking for their answers," he said. 

He additionally stated, "Some of them have just sent their answers and the commission has affirmed them … We will send the appropriate response [to the CAG] this week." 

Review OBJECTION 

The CAG affirmed that EC authorities gathered more than their allotted stipends while going to instructional meetings the nation over. 

There are additionally claims that sometimes "extraordinary speakers", "course counselors" and others gathered preparing recompenses without indicating any verification of participation, aside from their mark on the acquittance move, EC archives show. 

As per the archives, "course chiefs" gathered more than their remittances for the preparation program held at the ETI head office. 

The CAG likewise mentioned criticisms about then EC secretary, extra secretary and ETI chief general gathering the recompenses, as indicated by review protest letters. 

It said the public authority brought about a deficiency of Tk 19.76 lakh in light of the fact that the sum was paid in preparing remittances to unapproved "course guides" during the preparation held at the ETI head office. The public authority confronted loss of Tk 12.75 lakh as stipends were paid to unapproved "unique speakers", it said. 

It likewise said "course chiefs" gathered Tk 14.93 lakh more than their fixed recompenses. 

"The review complaints were yet to be settled," said the working paper of the EC meeting. 

ETI authorities said that the CAG mentioned the review criticism in March a year ago. Following the strategies, ETI authorities furnished extemporaneous responses. In any case, CAG authorities didn't acknowledge their answers. At that point, the CAG and ETI authorities held a gathering, known as "leave meeting", to settle the complaint. 

The CAG authorities didn't acknowledge the appropriate response at the leave meeting also and requested that the ETI authorities discount the cash. A three sided meeting including EC, CAG and ETI official is presently forthcoming to settle the issue. 

In the event that the three sided meeting neglects to determine the issue, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts should step in, said ETI authorities. 

ETI Director General Nuruzzaman Talukdar would not offer any remarks on the CAG review protests. 

As per EC sources, the political race commission apportioned Tk 57.33 crore for preparing during the last parliamentary surveys. Also, another Tk 59.24 crore was distributed for preparing for the upazila decisions. 

Of the complete designation, Tk 1.04 crore was assigned for offering stipends to "exceptional speakers" in front of the public political race and Tk 47.7 lakh was saved for "extraordinary speakers" in front of the upazila surveys. 

Discussion OVER SPECIAL ALLOWANCE 

The review protest became exposed when the EC is confronting analysis, including from a segment of prominent residents and left-inclining ideological groups, for various kinds of supposed inconsistencies. 

42 famous residents on December 14 encouraged the president to establish an incomparable legal gathering to test claims of debasement and other wrongdoing by the EC. 

In a letter to President Abdul Hamid, they guaranteed that individuals from the EC, under KM Nurul Huda's administration, had enjoyed wrongdoing and abnormalities, including spending Tk 2 crore for conveying discourses as "exceptional speakers" at trainings in front of the eleventh public political race and fifth upazila races. 

In answer, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on December 24 said the claim of expenditure Tk 2 crore on exceptional speakers at instructional meetings in front of races were made on bogus grounds. 

He said the assignment for unique speakers for the eleventh National Election was Tk 1.04 crore, and for the fifth upazila political decision, it was Tk 47.70 lakh. 

He said by rules and guidelines all consumptions were liable to review and if the review complaints were not settled, all unspent cash will be gotten back to the public exchequer. 

"There is no extent of monetary anomalies," he said.