ISLAMABAD - Chief Executive Officer Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited Musharraf Rasool Cyan on Saturday informed the Supreme Court that chief financial officer of the national flag carrier had been issued show cause notice for not providing accurate data to audit team.

He stated that three general managers of the commercial department had also been reprimanded for the same reason while chief human resource officer had been asked to initiate disciplinary action against non-cooperative employees.

He further informed the top court that he had also procured undertakings from the senior management team of the PIACL on July 30 to provide any or all information as and when required by Auditor General of Pakistan.

Cyan submitted his affidavit in the top court on the issue of special audit of national flag carrier.

The top court on June 30, in the matter regarding selling of national assets including those of the PIA at throw away prices, had directed the auditor general for carrying out a special audit of the PIA accounts to ascertain billions of loss incurred. The auditor general was also directed to submit a comprehensive report before the top court after the audit.

A 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan will take up matters relating to the PIA on September 3. 

Cyan in his affidavit further stated that concerned officials had been informed in clear terms that further disciplinary action would follow if compliance was not forthcoming and as required. He added that apart from the CFO and the general managers, all had complied with the requisite information meant for audit.

“The chief financial officer remains under disciplinary proceedings for non-compliance,” Cyan stated.

In order to aid the special audit, CEO Cyan said, he had asked the chief human resource officer of the PIA to start disciplinary proceedings against those employees who refused to comply with remaining 34 items pending in requisition made by director commercial audit or those not meeting the prescribed deadline of 48 hours.

PIA SEO Cyan said that he had endeavoured to ensure PIA’s compliance to orders of the top court, claiming that this endeavour would be instrumental in successful turnaround of the airline. He said that he had issued necessary binding directives to chiefs in the PIA and his team to extend full cooperation in compliance, adding that he had assigned one person to report directly as a focal person in facilitating the audit team.

“Till date, the PIA has received 39 requisitions from the auditors for 357 items spaced over 8 weeks, which was a massive undertaking involving voluminous record. The PIA has complied with the majority of requisitions,” the affidavit stated, adding that the compliance ratio was 90 percent. “Items complied with includes data that had been partially received and under review stood at 74, while those which were replicated or repeated were 11 as it concerned multiple departments. Moreover, 7 items about the PIA have been omitted,” the affidavit stated.

However, it added, the speed of compliance slowed down when the PIA was inundated with requisitions in the first fortnight of August 2018. “The audit team made almost half of total requisitions during this period. Requisitions required a lot of efforts in terms of time and determination to respond as a large number of these were not just cursory summarisation but an in-depth analysis by a number of cross-functional professionals,” the affidavit further stated.

Over 60,000 pages of record, 150 GB of soft data and close to 24,000 exclusive man hours of the teams addressing requirements of the auditors have been invested notwithstanding unacceptable traditional slow-going attitude of personnel towards audit and accountability initiatives, antiquated systems, dilapidated manual record and absence of robust record upkeep system across the board in the company, the CEO stated in his affidavit.

“The fact that the PIA’s employee skill sets and workloads are handled by very few key professionals, the same individuals balancing operations, providing record simultaneously and managing a number of turnaround initiatives reaching culmination was also achieved while prioritising work with the audit team.” The CEO in his affidavit further claimed that measures had been taken to ensure micro-level compliance.

These measures include appointment of a senior person on fulltime basis to coordinate procurement of records and information from all the 18 departments reporting to the CEO, he said.

The CEO further claimed that his office maintained all requisition flows and its record in addition to their subsequent assignment to concerned departments as well as a follow-up on the requisitions assigned to officers in the relevant departments.

It was further claimed in the affidavit that the CEO’s office was also facilitating the departments in their interaction with the auditors and helped them in understanding, decoding, deciphering and interpreting the data and the record requisitioned.

“More than 45 emails and written communications have been issued from deponent (CEO PIA) office in the last 2 months on the subject, demanding timely submission and forewarning reprimands in case of non-compliance,” he stated.

Regular meetings have been organised on daily and weekly basis to reconcile information/data and records received between the focal person and the auditors and between the deponent’s chiefs, it further added.

“Over 150 peer-to-peer sessions have been held, 6 joint team meetings chaired by the deponent along with complete audit team and departmental heads have been organised. Some meetings have even been held over the weekends,” he stated.

“Information, records and data that were missing or unavailable have also been traced and secured. Maximum co-operation has been extended and will continue to be extended,” he narrated.

The current status had also been shared with the audit team by the CEO’s focal person along with the names of the officials responsible for providing the remaining 34 items requisitioned, he said.