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AGP develops system-based audit

ISLAMABAD (January 05 2007): The Auditor General of Pakistan has worked out a new methodology for conducting system-based audit of government organisations under the Pifra (Project to Improve Financial Reporting and Auditing). Sources said on Thursday that the AG Office wanted to conduct audit under the new mechanism in Karachi and Lahore by February 2007.

The two major cities would be covered in the first phase of audit under the new system. The AG office has developed the new audit mechanism for developing accountability profiles keeping in view changed environment in the country. The new methodology has incorporated systems and procedures in line with international best practices of auditing to come up to the expectations of the accountability requirements.

The department is working on new accounting standards, reporting systems and financial procedures conforming to internationally accepted principles and computer-based financial system based on internationally recognised standards. System would enable a uniform application of prescribed controls for these transactions and meet information retrieval needs for government finance managers at the centre and in the provinces.

Now, AG office is planning to carry out system-based audit for financial attestation and regularity and compliance with authority audits. In this connection, the AG office has started co-ordination with the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to get the input of tax authorities on the issue.

Sources said that the CBR had convened a workshop on internal controls of sales tax, customs, federal excise duty (FED) and income tax. Representatives of the Collectorates/Commissionerates attended the meeting. The AG office has asked the CBR to submit the input of Collectorates/Commissionerates pertaining to the existing controls.

This CBR's information would enable the Auditor General for early execution of audit under the new procedure up to February 2007. Sources said that the Pifra project was in line with the government's vision to address problems in accounting and auditing. The policy changes relate to improved accounting principles and standards for the government sector. A phased transfer of responsibilities for government accounting from the Auditor General to the executive arm of government is envisaged.

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