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Auditor General of Pakistan to audit COVID related expenditures

Auditor General of Pakistan to audit COVID related expenditures

ISLAMABAD: The Department of Auditor General of Pakistan has planned to audit all expenditures linked with the novel Corona virus (COVID-19) in the country to ensure transparency in the concerned departments of the government.

For a timely input to the legislature and the executive, the DAGP has planned to produce several short and quick reports on the COVID expenditure to assist the government(s) in its drive against the deadly pandemic, according to a statement of AGP office issued on Tuesday.

Chairing a meeting here to discuss strategy for audit of COVID related expenditures, the Auditor General of Pakistan Javaid Jehangir stressed that all the field offices including Directorate General Audit (Climate Change & Environment) and Directorate General Audit (Social Safety Nets) should act in a coordinated manner to produce quality audit reports of COVID-19 related expenditures.

It was observed in the meeting that since the COVID -19 unfolded in Pakistan, in February 2020, the role of Auditor General of Pakistan has become very crucial to supporting the government response mechanisms through maintaining public financial management discipline and ensuring transparency and accountability.

The AGP said the Audit of COVID-19 expenditures by the Auditor General assumes more importance keeping in view the expectations of the stakeholders such as parliament, media, general public and the government(s), and their interest in knowing whether the funds utilized for combating COVID are being spent in a transparent and efficient manner.

The meeting was attended by Additional Auditor General-l&II, all Deputy Auditors General and concerned Directors General of Field Audit Offices dealing with COVID audit.

It was decided in the meeting that Field Audit Offices (FAOs) would comprehensively cover all the possible areas of the expenditures linked with COVID including procurement of goods and services, advertisements, storage, relief funds, quarantine centers, services by hospitals and public health institutions, testing, ration procurement and distribution etc.

The Auditor General further emphasized that Audit considerations arising from changes due to pandemic (COVID- 19) should be taken into account by the FAOs.

Impact on the planned audit approach of new or revised risks that have arisen because of COVID-19, including revision of risk assessments of the entities and responding to the assessed risks will be a key factor towards success of the audit assignments.

Moreover, using new, or flexing the use of existing IT resources in the current circumstances of the pandemic (use of ACL, CAATs etc.) will make the audit activity more productive and result oriented.