News on Audit Report 2018-19 baseles: Finance Division

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has rejected news reports claiming that the first audit report of the present government reveals irregularities and corruption amounting to Rs270 billion by 40 government departments and ministries during FY2018-19.
According to the statement, the audit report identifies some gaps in completing formalities while processing different cases by government entities and indicates different shortcomings in the provision of documents to the audit teams in certain other instances.
“But to conclude that each procedural deficiency is tantamount to corruption is incorrect and misleading”, it added.
Ministry of Finance would like to make it clear that by their very nature audit reports identify procedural deficiencies, and are not evidence of corruption – let alone ‘conclusive proof’ of corruption as certain sections of the media have attempted to portray, the statement read.
“Moreover, these audit reports are subsequently considered thoroughly at different forums, including by the departmental audit committees and the Public Accounts Committees, where ministries and other government institutions are given an opportunity to defend their cases and rectify the procedural shortcomings,” it added.
It further said even these forums are not competent to establish whether or not corruption has been committed.
The ministry of finance said, “It must also be understood that on the provision of the requisite documents – and occasionally completion of the requisite consent processes – the enormous bulk of audit paras are settled at these forums. Only in a few instances, where the deficiencies cannot be met, has punitive action been necessary.”
It added that moreover, within the above-clarified context of the nature of audit reports, it is very important to note that the audit report of the incumbent government actually reflects a vast improvement in governance.
The Ministry of Finance, therefore, strongly rejects the misleading conclusions presented by certain sections of the press on the basis of the Audit Report for FY2018-19, the statement concluded.
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