ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday directed the auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct a forensic audit of the National Assembly Secretariat over the past year regarding appointments, promotions and foreign visits made by MNAs and officers/officials of the lower house of parliament.

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan also directed the AGP to conduct the audit of honorarium paid to the employees of the NA and Senate secretariats, Finance Division and Federal Board of Revenue.

The directives came after the PAC learnt that officials at the NA Secretariat were entitled to five honorariums. “Officials cannot draw hefty honorariums when the country functions on loans from the International Monetary Fund,” said the PAC chairman.

The meeting of the PAC was held to examine the appropriation accounts of the NA and Senate secretariats for the year 2018-19, and receive a briefing on housing societies of employees of the two secretariats.

Committee orders cancellation of NOC to housing society for using Senate name

The audit department assured the committee of conducting the audit of honorarium paid to the employees of all ministries, divisions and departments.

The PAC chairman said in future one honorarium each would be allowed to the employees of both secretariats.

NOC cancellation

The PAC directed the secretaries of Senate and NA secretariats to cancel the no-objection certificate (NOC) issued in favour of the Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Society pertaining to use of the name of Senate Secretariat.

“The National Assembly and Senate have nothing to do with the employees cooperative housing societies,” Noor Alam said, adding that using the names of National Assembly and Senate was misleading for the general public.

The committee directed the Islamabad deputy commissioner to stop the use of the name of National Assembly and Senate by the management of both societies. Noor Alam also instructed him to ensure the rights of the registered members as well as transparency in the affairs of the societies.

The committee expressed displeasure over a letter written by the Senate Secretariat to the PAC regarding removal of glass walls installed in front of the corridor of the office of the Senate chairman. The committee members observed that the Senate Secretariat had challenged the authority of the PAC by issuing such directives. They said the PAC represented both houses of parliament.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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