The Defence Service Command and Staff College (DSCSC) has spent a staggering Rs 1.1 million as entertainment expenses (food and refreshment) over just five days on five officers, Defence Ministry Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff and three Commanders of the Army, Navy and the Air Force in 2022, a National Audit Report submitted in Parliament on 28 November revealed.
According to the report, the five officials had visited the DSCSC to monitor the operations of the institute.
The report DEF/DSCSC/22/04 published by the National Audit Office highlights that these activities were carried out in contravention of Treasury Circulars outlining expenditure limitations amid the current crisis in the country.
In another bizarre move, the purchase of 30 black colour dining chairs for the hostel, costing Rs 350250 left unused in the DSCSC warehouse as the colour was deemed unsuitable and mismatched to the ambience of the hostel.
Furthermore, the audit reveals that contributions for civilian staff at DSCSC from 2009 to 31 August 2022, have not been remitted to the Employees’ Trust Fund, with outstanding contributions for 64 current employees amounting to Rs 7.58 million.
The procurement of a heavy-duty photocopier for DSCSC saw a discrepancy, with the machine acquired at Rs 2.2 million instead of its listed price of Rs 1.6 million, resulting in a loss of Rs 600,000 in the procurement process.
The audit report also notes a delay in the procurement process for the heavy-duty copier due to a lack of specifications tailored to the needs of DSCSC, contributing to the higher acquisition cost.
Additionally, a four storey library and examination hall building, constructed at a cost of Rs 133 millions for the college, reportedly suffered substantial damage to its electrical system and upper-floor walls due to water leakage. Despite the issues dating back to 2019, there has been no restoration. In summary, the total expenditure for the staff college in 2022, dedicated to enhancing the professional knowledge of selected Student Officers from the tri-forces and Police, amounted to Rs 171 million.