AGP makes quiet move to usurp PAC powers

  • Spokesman says move designed to ensure ‘cost-effectiveness’
  • PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood says PAC will take up issue in next meeting



Amidst a nationwide outcry over widespread corruption and demands by major opposition parties for more transparency in governance in the wake of Panama Leaks, the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has quietly issued an order to ‘usurp’ powers of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Through a letter No 626/55-PAC/C/2014 Vol-II of January 6, 2016, the AGP has instructed that in the future, the audit briefs should contain only those audit paras which are highlighted by his office for discussion in the PAC, while those audit paras recommended for settlement or to be pursued in the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting are to be indicated in separate tables.

The order enables tightening of grip of the federal government on the accountability process as the PAC would now be submitted only ‘selective’ audit paras for consideration which are cleared by the AGP.

When contacted, spokesman Jamal Abdul Nasir Usmani, who represents the AGP in the PAC, confirmed that the AGP had issued such orders, insisting that the initiative was an “austerity measure” so that only limited stuff is sent to the PAC to ensure that relevant material is placed before the PAC.

“This would help save time and resources. The PAC has observed several times as to why useless paras are sent to the committee. So, from now on only relevant paras are being sent, after scrutiny,” maintained the spokesman.

According to details, every audit report is approved after the first approval of the supervisory deputy auditor general and then it is sent to the quality control committee (QCC) which is headed by another deputy auditor general and has another director general and quality assurance experts amongst its members. This committee ensures that all audit paras are of good quality, are backed by evidence and are prepared on the format provided by the AGP himself.

Later, the report is approved by the additional auditor-general (BS-22) prior to being given the final nod by the auditor general of Pakistan. This leaves no chance for useless paras to remain part of the audit report, if so, it speaks volumes of the incompetence of the directors general, deputy auditors general, additional auditor-general and the auditor general himself.

PAC to take up the matter in the next meeting:

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shafqat Mahmood, who is an active member of the PAC, said that his party would not allow anyone to violate the laws and he would raise the issue in the next meeting of the PAC.

“We would not allow anyone to violate the laws relating to the powers of the PAC. We will resist any move designed to usurp the powers of the PAC,” he added.

As a matter of fact the audit paras required to be perused in the DAC meeting are already included in the Memorandum for Departmental Accounts Committee (MFDAC) at the end of each printed audit report as Annexure I. The audit paras printed in the audit reports are specifically meant for discussion by the PAC; otherwise their printing would be of no use.

In the Audit Report 2012-13, the audit para 14.4.3 raises question against irregular appointment of the incumbent auditor general as adviser to the Finance Division, while the audit reports for 2012-13 and 2014-15 contain audit paras against irregular receipt of budget honorarium by him amounting to Rs 2.267 million out of which Rs 1.3 million were obtained as adviser to the Finance Division.

Similarly, Jamal Abdul Nasir Usmani, the signatory of the letter dated 06.01.2016, did not deposit government rent of nearly Rs 2 million he had irregularly received during his posting to the Benazir Income Support Programme, to the Treasury.


  1. This is how Nawaz Sharif operates. What is Supreme Court up to now? Let’s watch. What is the Parliament doing? Watching its authority being userped by Bearucracy?

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