Meeting held to discuss various reforms for quality audit

1188

ISLAMABAD, Feb 2 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq
Dar chaired a meeting on Thursday to discuss various reforms being
undertaken to enhance the quality and capacity of the Audit Department.
Finance Minister stated that Audit is an important function
for good governance as it plays a major role in enhancing
transparency and ensuring accountability,said in statement issued by
Ministry of Finance here.
He said that effective audit strengthens government efforts to
eradicate financial irregularities and financial misappropriation.
Auditor General of Pakistan, Rana Assad Amin, apprised the
Finance Minister of the performance of the department and the
various initiatives that have been taken in recent years to enhance the output as well as effectiveness of the audit function.
The Auditor General elaborated that output of the Department
included 596 audit reports including 101 financial attests, 151 special audits, 133 foreign aided audits and 211 regularity audit reports.
During 2015 16, 11,000 formations were audited involving an
audited amount of Rs.9,477 billion.
He highlighted that the reforms, based on the Department’s
first ever Strategic Plan included improving financial and organizational independence, capacity building, development of communication and cooperation with stakeholders, use of modern audit techniques and technologies and improving internal governance.
Operational reforms also include a paradigm shift involving
re introduction of risk based auditing, focused on systemic issues.
Finance Minister was also briefed on the salient points of the
legislation for Auditor General’s Act, leading to greater financial and operational independence of the department.
The Finance Minister appreciated overall performance of the
Auditor General’s Department and its agenda on systemic reforms,
restoration of soft image of the Department.
The 100% increase in recoveries effected by audit, from Rs.40
billion in 2014 15 to Rs. 81 billion in 2015 16 were specifically appreciated.
The Auditor General also apprised the Finance Minister about
pension reforms, which were initiated on his directions in October 2015.
He updated that out of a total of 26,00,000 pensioners, more
then 7,00,000 cases have been converted to Direct Credit System (DCS) to facilitate smooth payments to pensioners.
Pensioner’s form is now simplified from the conventional
format of 9 pages to 3 pages.
Finance Minister appreciated the progress of computerized mode
of payment and processing of all new cases through DCS.
He directed that rest of the pensioners drawing pension
through the conventional mode may be converted to Direct Credit System in a prompt manner.
The meeting was informed that following Finance Minister’s
directions to facilitate the pensioners, especially widows, all ministries/divisions have appointed pensioner welfare officers as focal persons.
Finance Minister further directed that pensioner welfare
officers may be provided training by AGPR offices and that the banks may further improve pensioner’s facilitation by making proper seating arrangements as well as dedicated time frame for attending the pensioners.
Additional Auditor General and Accountant General of Pakistan
Revenues and as well as other officials the Auditor General
Department and Finance Division attended the meeting.