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Mystery of the missing 5000 state vehicles

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The Auditor General’s office has underscored the need to find over 5000 state-owned vehicles missing from the relevant automobile fleets of state institutions and worth millions of rupees during the past few years.

It has recommended a full investigation into the whereabouts of the missing vehicles and any probable irregularities associated with its misplacement from the relevant institutions and departments.

According to the audit inspection report the documented records for stock of government vehicles, and handover notes were sufficient to find the last custodians of missing vehicles.

Some of the institutions have lodged complaints at police stations and investigations are continuing, a high official of the Finance Ministry disclosed.

But making these investigations more difficult, most of the relevant documents and records were either lost or removed by interested parties, he said adding that the mystery of unaccounted state vehicles has deepened.

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) recently observed that 1794 vehicles including 679 cars and 1115 motorcycles owned by the Ministry of Health were not in their procession.

The audit report underlined the transfer of 259 vehicles from the ministry to some outsiders or external parries. It has also found deficiencies in the data system pertaining to vehicle administration and maintenance,

An official from the Ministry of Health said that they requested the Motor Traffic Department to stop issuing revenue licenses for those vehicles. The issuance of revenue licenses for these vehicles has been halted.

Moreover 212 vehicles registered to the name of the secretary to the education ministry have been unaccounted for, the audit inspection report revealed.

A total of 880 vehicles belonging to the department are currently not under its custody. Motor Traffic Department data indicates 2024 vehicles were registered under the name of the ministry secretary

Around 82,000 vehicles were in the possession of government institutions. Of which about 76,000 are in running condition and around 5500 vehicles are not in running condition had been condemned, Finance Ministry statistics showed.

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