ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday said that effective working of Audit Department in any country could help remove irregularities and ensure good governance and accountability in financial matters.

Addressing officers and officials of Auditor General of Pakistan, the Minister went on to say that the PML-N government had a resolve to introduce complete transparency and accountability in all governmental affairs. He said active role of the Office of Auditor General of Pakistan could not only help end corruption but also lessen the burden on institutions like FIA and NAB.

The Minister welcomed the measures being introduced by the newly appointed Auditor General, Rana Assad Amin for revamping the Office of AGP. He welcomed the 2015-19 strategic plan being undertaken by the Auditor General which aims at improving the overall auditing system. The Minister emphasised that AGP should keep active liaison with organisations like ICMA, ICAP and other international bodies for brining improvement in the audit system and also better devising the strategic plan. He said the AGP office should resolve to attain world class auditing standards in the country. He said with the change of leadership, he could observe a visible improvement in the working of AGP’s office. This spirit should always be kept alive, he added.

The Finance Minister said that Pakistan had a lot of potential. It had shown tremendous resilience in the face of economic hardship. The country had achieved economic stability and now it was time to further build on this strong foundation, he remarked. We should not stop here but rather continue on the path to economic prosperity, he said.

Auditor General Rana Assad Amin welcomed the Finance Minister and briefed him about the strategic plan under which active liaison with international organisations/ donors, training of officers abroad and introduction of modern auditing techniques is envisaged. Emphasis will also be laid on procurement of quality equipment and infrastructure development under the plan. He said the AGP Office had offered bid for audit in WFP and was also eyeing IOM and Interpol for similar auditing opportunities. Rana Assad added that AGP office was making efforts for establishment of Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of SAARC countries. Pakistan, he said would have a leading role in this institution. He said officers would gain experience of audit at international level and Pakistan would earn precious foreign exchange.

Rana Assad said that the new AGPR had also been appointed with the clear message to provide quality services to all the ministries and departments. He said compared to the past, there were minimal complaints about AGPR in the closing stages of the fiscal year 2014-15. The Auditor General told the Minister that an Audit Reforms Committee had already been constituted with a view to improving auditing procedures. Audit paras, he said would henceforth be policy and issue based. “We want to make auditing a truly professional affair”, Rana Assad remarked.

The Auditor General informed the Minister that AGP office was maintaining active liaison with the PAC and it was his endeavour to clear the last two/ three years backlog as early as possible.

The Finance Minister at the end of the meeting hoped that under the new leadership the Office of the Auditor General of Pakistan will restore its prestige and become a model organisation. He assured the Auditor General of his full support in the bid to make AGP a truly professional institution.