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ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has formed a four-member team to conduct forensic audit of major loss-making state-owned entities (SOEs) following the Finance Ministry's letter in compliance to Prime Minister Imran Khan's directive.

The prime minister has asked his Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh last month with respect to forensic audit of loss making PSEs, and subsequently Shaikh who presiding over a meeting of Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (CCoSOEs) wanted to know whether sufficient expertise to carry out audit was available with the AGP or the government would be required to hire private auditor, and if so, how much it would cost.

Shaikh directed that he should be informed in the next meeting about the availability of sufficient forensic audit expertise within the AGP before taking the final decision.

On Thursday, in response to a letter of the Finance Ministry, asking whether the AGP had sufficient expertise to carry out forensic audit of the entities, the office of the AGP affirmed that it had the required experience, and expertise of forensic auditing, and for this purpose, a team had also been formed.

The forensic audit team would be led by a BS-19 officer of the DG Audit (CA&E) Karachi Saqib Bashir, whereas, its members would be Attique Ur Rahman, Deputy Director, Nadeem Masood, Audit Officer currently deputed at the office of DG Audit (CA&E) Lahore, and Saqib Hussain, Assistant Audit Officer.

Under the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Finance Ministry issued a letter to the AGP with respect to conducting forensic audit to the major loss-making SOEs of which the audit had not been done for several years.

The prime minister, in recent cabinet meeting, instructed the concerned authorities to make arrangements for conducting forensic audit of the SOEs, of which audit had not been carried out for more than four years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020