Customs director’s transfer after exposing over Rs 60b scam: Whistleblower concerned over PM Portal’s effectiveness
M Jahangir Hayat
LAHORE: The Customs Internal Audit Director, who cried foul over Customs’ officers corruption causing revenue losses of over Rs 60 billion in gold case, has filed a complaint on PM’s Citizen Portal against the portal effectiveness as he is punished first with his transfer while his complaint is put on the back burner.
Earlier, FBR had issued an SRO 1114(I)/2019 dated 20.09.2019 abolishing Internal Audit from the customs administration and transferring the Director of Internal Audit Lahore from his position.
When the Director Internal Audit complained against abolition of Internal Audit on PM’s Citizen Portal, he was transferred before deciding his complaint.
In his complaint on Citizen Portal, the aggrieved officer has disclosed that he has been transferred to stem his rising revenue loss detections reaching Rupees 7300 million in the first quarter of the current financial year.
The aggrieved officer disclosed in his portal complaint that Internal Audit has been abolished and he has been transferred just to rescue senior custom officers who had been caused of a loss of Rupees 60 billion in gold cases which he was pursuing in the President’s Secretariat after the Federal Tax Ombudsman had recommended criminal and disciplinary proceedings against the custom officers involved in these cases.
Apprehending that FBR will not decide his Portal complaint in accordance with law, the aggrieved officer has written to FBR asking for a written decision of his portal complaint after giving him an opportunity of personal hearing.
The officer has raised seven questions in his written communication asking the FBR to decide each of the questions in written decision of his Portal complaint.
The complainant has raised question including whether FBR can use an SRO to abolish the Directorate General of Internal Audit in size and powers and to merge it in its debilitated form with the Directorate General of Post Clearance Audit when the Directorate General of Internal Audit has been established separately by Legislature by enacting section 3(B) in Customs Act, 1969 is a common sense question.
He pointed out in the complaint that a man having cursory knowledge of law knows that an SRO cannot be used to undo or override the Act of Parliament. However, the issuance of SRO 1114(I)/2019 shows that FBR does not have even a cursory knowledge of law, he expressed in the complaint.
In his letter to the Board, the complainant has asked another question whether an effective discharge of FBR’s statutory obligations under section 4(1)(d)(g)(j) of FBR Act, 2007 respectively to improve productivity in field formations, introduce internal controls against corruption in field formations, maintain checks to promote integrity and conduct performance accountability of customs employees required a much stronger Internal Audit or a debilitated and incapacitated Internal Audit which SRO 1114(I)/2019 has produced.
He alleged in the complaint that FBR has issued SRO 1114 (I) / 2019 without reading the relevant parts of Customs Act and FBR Act and thus the SRO seems to be protruding out of and does not seem to be fitting in and aligned with the legal framework providing for FBR’s own powers and functions.