PCB sends accounts for 2007-08 to ICC

LAHORE: Without getting approval of the Governing Board, the Pakistan Cricket Board has sent its accounts for the year 2007-08 to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Interestingly, the Governing Board was to meet on Nov 7 to look at the accounts.

The said budget was approved by then ad hoc committee working under former PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf.

In its last meeting held on Oct 14, the Governing Board had refused to give approval to the accounts since the audit company had raised several objections on the spending of 2007-08.

In fact, the financial affairs of the PCB are complicated as the accounts for the period of 2008-09 are also yet to be audited and approved and similarly the budget for 2009-10 could only be presented in the last meeting of the Governing Board after a delay of almost four months.

One of the members of the Board, on the condition of anonymity, said the PCB chairman had requested the members to approve the accounts as the ICC was not releasing funds to the PCB without it.

The member added that after turning down PCB chairman’s request, the Governing Board had decided to first check every objection of the auditor in the next meeting on Nov 7, and then they would decide whether to approve it.

However, after getting reply of the Governing Board in negative, the chairman preferred to send the accounts to the ICC without their approval.

The ICC in a communication with Dawn had confirmed that it had received the accounts of the PCB, but interestingly till Dec 31, 2008 and not till June 30, 2008.

‘Yes, the PCB has sent its accounts till Dec 31, 2008, as required,’ an ICC media official James Fitzgerald said.

The official added that the accounts were submitted last week, which means they were dispatched soon after or before the Governing Board’s last meeting (Oct 14).

To a question the ICC official said he did not know if the accounts were duly approved by the Governing Board.

When contacted, the PCB also confirmed the accounts had been dispatched to the ICC.

But its media official Nadeem Sarwar claimed the accounts were sent till the period of June 30, 2008 and not till Dec 31, 2008 as per claim of the ICC.

‘Our fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30, so it is not possible to send the accounts till Dec, 31, 2008,’ the PCB official said.

It is interesting to note that as the PCB had appointed another audit company how would it be possible for the latter to audit the accounts till Dec 31, 2008 in such a short period of time.

The PCB’s current hierarchy did not give due attention to budgets’ preparations since Ijaz Butt took charge of his office on Oct 8, 2008.

In the very first week of his tenure Ijaz had frozen the budget for 2008-09. It also failed to prepare the budget for 2009-10 fiscal year on due date of June 30.

Since four months of the 2009-10 fiscal year had been over and the budget is still to be approved by the Governing Board, it is raising various legal questions, including if the chairman has the powers to spend money without getting approval of the Governing Board.

Sources said the Governing Board members in their last meeting were reluctant to sign the budget for 2007-08 since Ijaz himself raised some 30 objections in it.

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