KP govt launches ‘Internal Audit Policy’ to ensure financial transparency

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday formally launched a centralized and comprehensive Internal Audit Policy (IAP) for all the departments, offices, autonomous bodies and local governments to avoid wastage of resources, ensure financial transparency.
The policy, formulated by the finance department, provides for a mechanism to strengthen internal control, preempt misuse and enable top management to have efficient control. The internal audit function is being developed for the first time in KPs’ history.
The launching ceremony of the first ever internal audit policy was held here at a local hotel with KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said advocate in the chair. The event was attended by senior government officials, secretaries, and participants from the development partners, civil society and media.
In his address, the Finance Minister said IAP is intended to build confidence of the citizens by providing unbiased assessments of whether public officials are managing public resources responsibly, effectively, and honestly.
The policy supported the governance responsibilities of oversight, insight, and foresight. Moreover, the oversight intends to address whether public sector entities are doing what they are supposed to do; funds are being spent on intended purposes and laws are being complied with, the Minister said.
The KP cabinet has already approved the IAP and finance department has also issued a notification, which is a legal requirement for the implementation of the policy. KP will emerge the second province after Sindh to have dedicated internal audit functions.
“The KP government through the Internal Audit Policy will put in place effective internal controls in every department and offices for the purpose of efficiency, transparency, judicious use of resources, avoid wastage and misappropriation and to detect errors and irregularities in the financial proceedings and other processes of the government” Secretary Finance, Shakil Qadir Khan said in his welcome address.
He said the provincial government considers Internal Audit a very important management tool, which the Finance Department has formulated with a technical support from DFID funded Sub-National Governance Programme (SNG).
Under the internal audit system, a centralised wing called Provincial Internal Audit Cell (PIAC) has been established at the Finance department.
A separate and independent Internal Audit Cell (IAC) will be established in each government department and directorate. Currently, there are 34 departments and 81 directorates in KP. In the first phase, IACs have been established in 13 departments and more will gradually be established across the remaining offices and autonomous bodies.
All employees within the IAC will maintain independence from operational management and will have no direct authority over any of the operational activities.
The jurisdiction of the Internal Audit included all payments made out of the provincial consolidated fund, contract award and management.
Under the law, IACs will prepare and implement an annual audit plan, assess the quality of the department’s risk management, governance, assessing compliance of the management’s activities, assisting the department’s management in the investigation of significant suspected fraudulent activities. …APP


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