LAHORE: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has expressed his concern about the financial matters of nearly 51 public sector companies constituted by the provincial government of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) in Punjab.
According to a report in a local English daily, the AGP showed his concern during a high-level meeting held early this month and suggested a stop to the funds given to these companies through Special Drawing Allowance (SDAs).
He pointed out that the government officers working in companies did not get their Last Pay Certificate and as a result were reported to be drawing two salaries, one from the government and the other from the company.
The meeting decided to ask all administrative secretaries and heads of these companies to check and report about the drawing of double salary by any of the government servant or employee.
The AGP said most of the time the companies do not provide their vouched accounts to the office of the AGP. Funds to these companies are provided through SDAs due to which no internal audit is done for such amounts. He opined that the practice of SDAs needed to be discouraged.
The special secretary finance clarified that funds are released into the SDA of companies operated by administrative secretaries from where they are transferred to the commercial bank accounts of the companies.
The finance minister stated that the company mode of working had been adopted for ensuring better service delivery. It was the prerogative of the government to decide as to the mode of service delivery. She suggested both the finance department and the AGP office should sit together and resolve the difference of opinion on the issue of SDAs.
The AGP stated that he considered the audit of the companies by auditing firms as part of their internal control mechanism. As for the request of the Punjab government to arranging an audit of public sector companies and mega projects preferably within next two to three months, he said, it was not a simple matter.
The AG office had already issued audit plan for the current year.
The Planning and Development (P&D) chairman also said as part of their legal obligations, companies should provide their record to the AGP office.
It was decided to write a letter to the AGP to conduct the companies audit within two to three months.