ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) says that neither there has been any inordinate delay in finalizing the special audit report on circular debt of Rs. 480 billion nor audit will compromise on the facts under any pressure.
In a statement issued here Thursday, the AGP rejected the impression being given by some quarters of media that the audit report is being delayed deliberately and audit paras are being settled to give a clean chit to the Government.
The Department of the Auditor General made it clear that being an independent constitutional institution, we conduct audit objectively in the light of international auditing standards without being a party. We are just interested in bringing out the facts as available in the record, after due diligence.
It is an international standard that every audit report should be finalized only after giving a chance to the audited organizations as well as the Principal Accounting Officer concerned to give their viewpoint. Before inclusion of the response from the audited organization, an audit report remains a draft and cannot be issued to any quarter and this is the case with the special audit report on Rs. 480 billion circular debt.
In the case of circular debt, the then Auditor General had first ordered special audit in July 2013. The Director General Audit WAPDA had submitted the first draft report in December 2013. The Auditor General was not satisfied with the findings of the report and directed the DG WAPDA Audit to resubmit a new report about the transparency regularity and mode of payment of Rs. 480 billion.
The DG WAPDA Audit submitted a revised report, but again it was not found satisfactory despite various reviews at the headquarters level. Subsequently the DG Audit WAPDA was directed by the Auditor General in December 2014 to carry hundred percent audit of the transaction of Rs. 480 billion.
Even this hundred percent audit could not be completed during the tenure of the then Auditor General and the draft report was submitted in July, 2015. After detailed review at the head office, the DG Audit WAPDA was directed to hold DAC meeting with the Secretary Water & Power, who is the Principal Accounting Officer.
The DAC meeting was held in the Committee Room of Ministry of Water and Power on 7th October 2015 in which 42 audit paras were discussed in total and only two paras involving Rs 11.732 million were settled on the basis of record produced by the management.
Moreover, another two paras were deleted from the report as these had already been printed in earlier years’ audit reports. Minutes of the DAC meeting, duly signed by the Principal Accounting Officer and DG Audit WAPDA will be submitted to the head office shortly. The Auditor General will review minutes of the DAC meeting and approve the report after the quality assurance exercise by senior officers of the Department.