Islamabad          -         Auditor General of Pakistan has decided to conduct a comprehensive audit of the COVID related expenditure. The decision was taken in a meeting on strategy formulation for audit of COVID-19 related expenditure. The meeting was chaired by the Auditor General of Pakistan Javaid Jahangir. The meeting was attended by Additional AGP-I&II, all DAGs and concerned DGs of Field Audit Offices dealing with COVID audit. 

It was decided in the meeting that Audit Officers (FAOs) would comprehensively cover all the possible areas of the COVID related expenditure including procurement of goods and services, advertisements, storage, relief funds, quarantine centres, services by hospitals and public health institution, testing, ration procurements and distribution etc.

Javaid Jehangir stressed that all the Field officers including Director General Audit (Climate Change & Environment) Director General  (Social Safety Nets) should act in a coordinated manner to produce quality audit reports of COVID-19 related expenditures. 

Since the COVID-19 unfolded in Pakistan, in February 2020, the role of Auditor General of Pakistan has become very important and crucial to supporting the government response mechanisms through maintaining public financial management discipline and ensuring transparency and accountability. For a timely input to the legislature and the executive, the DAGP has planned to produce several short and quick reports on the COVID expenditure to assist the government in its drive against the deadly pandemic.

He said  the Audit of COVID-19 expenditures by the Auditor General assumes more importance keeping in view the expectations of the stakeholders such as parliament, media, general public and the government(s), and their interest in knowing whether the funds utilized for combating COVID are being spent in a transparent and efficient manner.  Auditor General further emphasised that Audit considerations arising from changes due to COVID-19 shall be taken into accounts by the FAOs. Impact on the planned audit approach of new or revised risks that have arisen because of COVID-19, including revision of risk assessments of the entities and responding to the assessed risks will be a key factor towards success of the audit assignments.

Moreover, using new or flexing the use of existing IT resources in the current circumstances of the pandemic (use of ACL, CAATs etc.) will make the audit activity more productive and result oriented.