Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee con­ducts public hear­ing with MoH

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee of the National Assem­bly (NA) con­ducts public hear­ing with the Min­istry of Health (MoH) on 19 Au­gust.

The res­o­lu­tion re­quires the agen­cies to re­solve un­re­solved au­dit ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties pend­ing be­tween 2009 and 2013 to Royal Au­dit Author­ity latest by 30 March 2016.

Of the six un­re­solved au­dit is­sues with MoH be­tween 2009 and 2013, four is­sues have been re­solved, but the com­mit­tee raised a num­ber of ques­tions on the un­re­solved au­dit ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

An of­fice as­sis­tant act­ing as an ac­counts as­sis­tant at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal had misused rev­enue col­lec­tions in 2012 and the other out­stand­ing ad­vances against its of­fi­cials in 2010 are still un­re­solved.

How­ever, for the two un­re­solved is­sues, an of­fi­cial from the min­istry re­sponded that one of the em­ploy­ees had passed away and the other is serv­ing a prison term. She said that the one who had passed away was with­held as he had loans with National Pen­sion and Prov­i­dent Fund.

Ac­cord­ing to the Royal Au­dit Author­ity (RAA), the De­part­ment Of Med­i­cal Ser­vices had made ex­cess pay­ment of Nu1.14 mil­lion for pur­chases of 10,300 vials at Nu.115 per vial from Karma Tshon­gkhang in 2011 and 2012.

A com­mit­tee mem­ber, MP Karma Ten­zin, ques­tioned on the ten­der given to Karma Tshon­gkhang when the firm was the fourth low­est eval­u­ated bid­der which made the price dif­fer­ence of more than 500 per­cent.

The health sec­re­tary, Dr. Ugyen Do­phu, re­sponded that the three bid­ders who quoted the low­est prices were not reg­is­tered with Drug Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (DRA) whereas Karma Tshon­gkhang was reg­is­tered with DRA. The low­est eval­u­ated bid­der KSD med­i­cal quoted a price of Nu. 3.74 per vial won the bid. How­ever, it failed to sup­ply the drug be­cause the drug was not reg­is­tered with DRA.

An of­fi­cial from MoH said that penalty of Nu. 4 mil­lion has been im­posed on KSD med­i­cal ser­vice and the firm has since been closed.

How­ever, the RAA in­sisted on re­im­burse­ment of the fund.

Dr. Ugyen Do­phu said that in case the drugs are ur­gently re­quired in the health sec­tor but not reg­is­tered with DRA, they are pro­cured with the ap­proval from the DRA and the min­istry tak­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure qual­ity.

He also said that 98 per­cent of es­sen­tial drugs are avail­able in any health fa­cil­i­ties at any point of time.

MoH pro­vided de­tailed clar­i­fi­ca­tion and up­dated on all the is­sues to the com­mit­tee. There­fore, the com­mit­tee mem­ber ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the ef­forts of MoH in re­solv­ing is­sues as per the res­o­lu­tions of the Par­lia­ment.

MoH was represented by Sec­re­tary Dr. Ugyen Do­phu and other se­nior of­fi­cials.

Af­ter the public hear­ing, the mem­bers of the com­mit­tee held a press con­fer­ence on the same is­sues.

The public hear­ing with MoH was con­ducted in ac­cor­dance with the sec­tion 23 of the rules of pro­ce­dure of public ac­counts Com­mit­tee 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mit­tee, the next public hear­ing is ex­pected to be held on 24 Au­gust with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

The public hear­ing was con­ducted by the Chair­per­son, Do­phu Drukpa, and com­mit­tee mem­bers based on the res­o­lu­tions of the 6th ses­sion of the Sec­ond Par­lia­ment.

The joint com­mit­tees, com­pris­ing mem­bers from both the houses, were es­tab­lished to re­view and re­port on re­lated is­sues to Par­lia­ment.

More than 40 per­son­nel, in­clud­ing speaker of NA, the cabi­net mem­bers, and mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion party, me­dia per­son­nel and other of­fi­cials at­tended the hear­ing.

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