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Pakistan: Additional funds for universities linked to performance

Punjab-University

The Punjab government is going to hold special audit of all public sector universities in piecemeal adopting a carrot and stick policy with the objective of gauging their financial and administrative capacities.

The decision was taken to gauge the capacity of public sector universities in dealing with their financial and administrative responsibilities. Those universities found performing their functions in a satisfactory manner would be given additional funds while the remaining would face hard times.

There are total 23 universities and the government has decided to hold special audit of all these universities in different phases. In the first phase, Auditor General of Pakistan will conduct special audit of five leading public sector universities.

Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar, who is also the Chancellor of public sector universities, has issued directions for conducting this special audit pertaining to finances, human resources and assets management of the University of Punjab, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Government College University Faisalabad, University of Sargodha and University of Gujrat. This special audit will spread over financial years 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and of 2014 and will be conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ch Sarwar had sworn in as Punjab Governor in August 2013, while his predecessors were Salman Taseer, Sardar Latif Khosa and Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood belonging to Pakistan People Party.

Chief Minister Secretariat had sent an advice to the governor after receiving a summary from the Higher Education Department pointing out anomalies in the administrative and financial affairs of five leading public sector universities.

The Higher Education Department had contended in the summary that these universities despite being autonomous bodies enjoy a relatively independent status in terms of their administrative and financial matters and their business was carried out through Syndicate(s) and Finance and Planning Committee(s). Nevertheless, the education department had made reference of the Punjab Government Rules of Business, 2011, under which these public sector universities cannot be declared as stand-alone institutions.

The Higher Education Department had suggested the Chief Minister Secretariat for holding an effectual scrutiny undertaken by a comprehensive and competent special external audit for the improvement in the functions of these universities. It has further urged the chief minister for sending advice to the governor for holding special audit of these public sector universities.

The Chief Minister Secretariat after receiving the summary had sent an advice to the governor for holding audit of these five public sector universities through Auditor General of Pakistan. (The News)

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