A special audit has primarily identified financial irregularities worth about Tk 1,000 crore in the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh.

The special audit carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General office in July raised 143 audit objections, said IFB secretary Kazi Nurul Islam while talking no New Age on Thursday.

The primary report on financial irregularities has been submitted to the foundation, he said.

The major audit objections raised in the report, officials said, include misappropriation of Tk 518 crore, unnecessary expenditures of Tk 137.66 crore, transfer of pension fund of Tk 141 crore.

Other objections include, they added, additional Tk 14.9 crore released for development projects, extra expenditure of Tk 26.14 crore, procurement of printing raw materials worth Tk 45 crore and printing fees of Tk 36 crore.

Besides, the foundation did not return unused development project funds in time and caused financial losses by procuring books without tender and showing excess prices of books, the audit found.

The ministry of religious affairs had requested the Comptroller and Auditor General for conducting  an audit into the IFB activities from 2008 to 2018.

The audit request followed widespread allegations of irregularities, nepotism and misuses of power by foundation director general Shamim Mohammad Afjal.

Shamim has been serving as the IFB director general since 2009 and his current tenure will expire on December 31.

He told New Age on Wednesday that the main task of the audit department was to identify audit objections.

There are many objections but there is not a single instance of ‘corruption’ as stated in the primary audit report, he claimed.

The director general is the chief executive of the foundation, an autonomous body under the ministry of religious affairs, which preaches and propagates the values and ideals of Islam.

The foundation has meanwhile returned Tk 73 crore to the ministry of finance in two instalments on October 23 and October 31 following the audit objections on unutlisied fund for development projects. 

Commenting on the matter, Shamim said that lapses were common in the ministries and their agencies with development projects.

An official of the CAG office said that returning funds following audit objections was unprecedented in the country.

Once any party sends back funds after audit objections the Comptroller and Auditor General withdraws the objections, he said.

Maintaining transparency of the public fund is the main objective of the CAG office, he said.

Foundation’s mosque-based children education project director Faruk Ahmed said that they were preparing to return more funds by December so that other audit objections raised against the project activities were withdrawn.

IFB secretary Kazi Nurul Islam said that they were examining the audit report. 

The foundation would soon send back the report with its opinions, which will allow the CAG office to prepare the final report, he added.

He also said that the foundation would take necessary actions to recover the misused public money after getting the final audit report.

The actions would include filing criminal cases for misappropriation of public fund, departmental action and even forwarding cases to the anti-corruption commission.

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