21,000 audit paras pending decision before Public Accounts Committee

Updated 20 Nov 2020

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday that the number of audit paras pending before it ha risen to about 21,000. — AFP/File
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday that the number of audit paras pending before it ha risen to about 21,000. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Thursday that the number of audit paras pending before it ha risen to about 21,000.

Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) Javed Jahangir informed a meeting of the PAC that 18,500 audit paras had been pending till August 2018, but later 2,000 to 2,200 new paras were added to the backlog.

PAC chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain pointed out that India was a far bigger country than Pakistan, but only about 100 audit paras were pending before its PAC.

According to him, audit paras for 2011-12 were still pending and when finally action was taken it was found that the officials responsible for wrongdoings had either retired or passed away.

Mr Hussain took up the matter with the ministries and divisions which, according to the auditors, were not taking the audit paras seriously.

Auditors say relevant ministries aren’t taking the matter seriously

He warned the secretaries and officials concerned of the poverty alleviation & social safety division, economic affairs division, narcotics control, federal public service commission and planning and human rights ministries for not holding meetings of departmental accounts committees (DACs) regularly.

When PAC member Rohale Asghar asked the chairman to call the individuals to his office, Mr Hussain said he had already summoned the principal accounting officers.

Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel agreed with the chair that everything should happen before the committee, saying taxpayers’ money was being wasted just because the DACs were not performing their duties and leaving everything to the PAC.

Shahida Akhtar reminded the officials that it had long been decided that things would be done properly at the DACs but that was not happening.

“We need maximum disposal at DAC level,” Rana Tanveer said, adding that the National Assembly had decided that the officials who violated the rulings would not be promoted and would receive adverse remarks in their annual confidential report.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2020