Public Accounts Committee orders forensic audit of MPs’ overseas tours – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday requested the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct a forensic audit of the National Assembly Secretariat over the past year regarding appointments, promotions and foreign visits by MPs and officers/officials of the lower house of parliament.

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan has also tasked the AGP with auditing fees paid to employees of the NA and Senate Secretariats, the Finance Division and the Federal Board of Revenue.

The guidelines came after the PAC learned that NA Secretariat officials were entitled to five honorariums. “Officials cannot collect heavy fees when the country is operating on loans from the International Monetary Fund,” the PAC chairman said.

The PAC meeting was held to review the allocation accounts of the NA and Senate secretariats for the year 2018-19, and receive a presentation on the housing companies of the employees of the two secretariats.

Committee orders cancellation of NOC to housing corporation for using Senate name

The audit department assured the committee to conduct the audit of fees paid to employees of all ministries, divisions and departments.

The Chair of PAC said that in the future, an honorarium would be given to employees of the two secretariats.

NOC Cancellation

The PAC ordered the Secretaries of the Senate and NA Secretariats to rescind the No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued in favor of the Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Society regarding the use of the name Senate Secretariat .

“The National Assembly and the Senate have nothing to do with employee housing cooperatives,” said Noor Alam, adding that the use of the names National Assembly and Senate was misleading to the general public.

The committee ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad to stop the use of the name National Assembly and Senate by the management of the two corporations. Noor Alam also asked him to guarantee the rights of registered members as well as transparency in the affairs of the companies.

The committee expressed dissatisfaction with a letter written by the Senate Secretariat to the PAC regarding the removal of the glass walls installed in front of the hallway of the President of the Senate’s office. Committee members observed that the Senate Secretariat challenged the authority of the PAC in issuing such directives. They said the PAC represented both houses of parliament.

Posted in Dawn, September 29, 2022

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