KARACHI: The Internal auditors of Hascol Petroleum Limited (HPL) submitted evidences to its Board of Directors (BoDs) regarding the ‘False Purchase Orders‘ and misappropriation in company during 2019.
The Chairman HPL, Alan Duncan in a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) said, “the company’s Internal Auditor received a whistleblower statement and evidence from within the Company that in 2019 a series of false purchase Orders were created and entered into the company’s books. The Internal auditor, as required by the procedure, referred the matter to the Board Audit Committee which, at its meeting last week, concluded that there is sufficient evidence in support of the accusation to justify referring the matter to the full Board of Directors.”
He said since its information in September 2020, the newly constituted Board of Hascol Petroleum has been taking serious steps to improve the governance and management of the Company. One such action has been to establish a whistleblowing/speak out policy under which employees are encouraged, without any fear of reprisal, to report any incident or conduct in the company which they believe fell short of proper standards, he added.
In the letter, he further said that the Board of Directors has yet to receive a comprehensive report on what is alleged to have taken place, but is due to do so later this week. In the meantime, I consider it proper, through this statement, to immediately replay this information to the SECP and PSX.
While the alleged statement, if proven correct, may require the Company to restate its past Income Statements and past and current balance Sheets, it is not expected to make any material difference to the Company’s recent and future operations, he claimed.
The chairman also informed the SECP and PSX that the Company’s Board of Directors has decided to accept the resignation of Grant Thornton as its auditors for the year 2020 which immediate effect. Hascol Petroleum Limited expects the outgoing auditors to fulfill all their legal and professional requirements in respect of the years for which they were the Company’s auditors. The Board intends to announce the name of Hascol’s new Auditors immediately.
Chairman further said that the company has determined to establish and maintain the highest standards of governance and management within Hascol. He also confident, with the cooperation of its bankers in the months ahead, the operating and financial performance of the Company will continue to improve.