MUZAFFARABAD: President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan has called for addressing the causes that affect schedule delay, cost escalation, and quality of work in the public-funded development projects.
“It is a time to introduce an effective system to ensure transparency in the use of funds and timely accomplishment of all public welfare projects in the country. If the institution of auditor general uses the powers delegated to it under the constitution and law, not only the transparency in the government expenditure and good governance can be ensured but there would also, be no need of any other accountability institution,” he asserted.
Addressing the opening session of the Auditors General Conference here on Saturday, he said that it was the constitutional and legal obligation of the Auditor General to ensure transparency in the utilization of every penny allocated for the public welfare projects, and it is a matter of pleasure that the institutions in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir are striving to fulfil this obligation.
He stressed that modern technology should be utilized to perform the responsibilities of the audit system and it should also be ensured that rules and regulations are being complied in the funds being utilized for the development projects and these projects are completed within the specified.
“Delay in completion of projects increase the expenses manifold, and the projects also lose their utility, those associated with the projects are replaced and the process of accountability remains incomplete” he declared.
The state president said that it should also be looked into why the objectives and targets are not achieved in the projects where the state funds are utilized even in a transparent manner. He said that the private sector involved in the projects completed under public-private partnership also falls within the scope of the Auditor General.
He added that there should also, be a mechanism of the accountability of those serving with the financial auditing. Saying that new and emerging technologies are altering the financial reporting environment substantially, President Khan said that the technologies like blockchain, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence are changing the entire environment of management’s internal control over financial reporting.
Addressing the conference, the Auditor General of Pakistan Javed Jahangir said that the auditor general ensures transparency of the utilization of the state’s financial resources under the parliamentary supervision, and presents its reports to the public accounts committees of the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies. However, we are endeavouring to introduce new technologies in our department in the changed situation.
He said that we are also trying to modernize our monitoring and reporting system in order to get maximum results within resource and time constraints.