ISLAMABAD-World Bank Friday expressed the need to collaborate with Department of Auditor General of Pakistan (DAGP) for third -party validation and input on their Program-for-Results (PforR) initiative, which would enable them to verify disbursement-linked indicators before disbursement of funds. A seven-member delegation from World Bank headed by Edward Olowo-Okere, Global Director of Governance Global Practice, World Bank, met Javaid Jehangir, Auditor General of Pakistan, to discuss collaboration of Department of Auditor General of Pakistan with the World Bank. The global director appreciated the role of the DAGP in improving overall public financial management in the country. AGP appraised the delegation about the emerging challenges due to changes in technological development in governance structure and risks associated with it. AGP informed the WB delegation about initiatives being taken in line with ever-changing governance environment and Public Financial Management needs. The global director noted that the DAGP plays a pivotal role in auditing World Bank assisted projects and that the World Bank has entrusted the audit of its projects to Department of Auditor General of Pakistan (DAGP) due to its competence and expertise.

The delegation further emphasized on timeliness and effective implementation of procurement processes and pledged technical support to DAGP to strengthen accountability. While Javaid Jehangir, Auditor General of Pakistan mentioned the importance of audit of foreign funded projects and the resources being allocated to it, he also pointed out constraints such as non-availability of accurate financial statements and lack of coordination between World Bank and the implementing agencies. Representatives of World Bank expressed the need to collaborate with DAGP for third-party validation and input on their Program-for-Results (PforR) initiative, which would enable them to verify disbursement-linked indicators before disbursement of funds. Officers of DAGP delivered a comprehensive presentation giving an overview of the processes of different audit and accounts offices across the country, highlighting contributions of DAGP in formulating and complying with international standards and best practices.

The delegation also commended the valuable input of DAGP over the years as members of international bodies such as INTOSAI, ECOSAI and ASSOSAI.

Officers of DAGP briefed the delegation on the initiatives being taken to train auditors and provide international recognized professional qualifications to officers, digitization of accounts in order to improve consolidation and transparency, and automation of audit to minimize room for errors and corruption.

The AGP concluded the meeting by emphasizing that audit processes must be evolved and auditors must be trained to deal with the risks being presented by disruptive technologies and new ways of governance. The AGP envisaged that the future of audit would be focused on data analytics, sector specific analyses and automation.