The top management of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has violated a decision from its board of directors and reimbursed a multi-million-rupee club membership fee to over 25 executives.
The company management had failed to honour the decision of the board of directors (BoD) of SSGC which had directed the management to immediately stop privileges including club membership facility to executives.
The management made unauthorised payments of Rs6.27 million on account of club membership facilities due to the non-implementation of directives from the BoD.
The auditor general of Pakistan observed that as per the minutes of the 550th meeting of the BoD held on July 30, 2020, the Board had directed to “immediately stop privileges including club membership facility”.
Despite repeated attempts made by the Express Tribune for comments, SSGC made no comments on the development.
During the audit of the SSGC for the year FY2020-21, it was observed that the management had reimbursed club membership fees of Rs1.484 million to 22 executives and had also approved the payment of Rs4.786 million on account of club membership facilities for three executives despite the Board’s decision. This showed that the management negated the decision of the Board and failed to stop privileges, including club membership facility.
The audit contends that the weak internal controls resulted in the non-implementation of the directives, resulting in the unauthorised payment of club membership facilities amounting to Rs6.27 million.
The matter was reported to the management in December, 2021. The management in its reply dated January 15, 2022, stated that the privileges including club membership facility and reimbursement were part of the employment benefits offered to executive staff, including salary and allowances.
The audit general contended that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had also directed SSGC to review its present perks and privileges, including club membership as per para 9.3.3 to 9.3.12 and 12.1.1 of ERR for the FY 2020-21.
The department account committee (DAC) in its meeting held on January 17, 2022, directed the management to place the matter before the Board for clarification in light of Ogra’s directives. No further progress was reported till finalisation of this report.