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Pvt varsities reluctant

Most private universities have not sent their annual audit reports to the government, though they were asked to do so to ensure accountability and transparency of their monetary transactions. The universities were given time till December 31 last year, but the authorities found the universities reluctant, said sources in the University Grants Commission (UGC). Only a few universities have sent their audit reports so far.
The UGC extended the deadline till January 31 this year, urging them to submit audit reports verified by chartered account (CA) firms.
According to Provision 45 of the Private University Act, 2010, each private university would conduct an audit of its income and expenditure by selected CA firms enlisted with the Bangladesh Bank, and send the audit report to the education ministry and the UGC by December 31.
“The universities have to submit the audit reports in time. It is necessary to ensure transparency and accountability of the transactions each year,” Jesmin Pervin, deputy director of the UGC, told The Independent yesterday (Wednesday). She said: “We had given the universities time till December 31 to submit audit reports, but only a few responded. We have extended the deadline till January 31 this year. We expect private universities to follow the Act. But many universities are violating the law and are not maintaining the accounts properly. Last year’s reports show that most private universities did not follow the law to maintain the audit report. Even some audit reports are not properly done by CA firms. We will scrutinise the audit reports soon and send recommendations to the government to take further action so that private universities follow rules and regulations.”
“We are not against private universities. We want that they carry out their activities within the jurisdiction of the law,” UGC chairman Prof. Abdul Mannan told The Independent.
“Audit reports play an important role in ensuring transparency and accountability of the universities. If it is not followed properly, questions will arise. We hope they will follow it. We will send recommendations to the government in this regard,” he said. UGC sources said they are taking the matter very seriously and will be sending recommendations to the ministry to take stern action. Even the UGC’s 42nd annual report painted a bleak picture. Fifty-one out of 85 private universities did not send their audit reports to the Commission. Only 30 did so, and audit reports of four were not properly done. Among the varsities whose audit reports the UGC did not get are North South University, the University of Science and Technology, Chittagong, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Stamford University Bangladesh, American International University, the University of Asia Pacific, the World University of Bangladesh and Gono Bishwabidyalay. Commission sources said it is unfortunate that some of the leading universities do not send their audit reports to them.

Source: Independent, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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