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ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister shall have the authority to designate any officer as principal accounting officer on the recommendation of the administrative secretary of the Division concerned and Finance Division.

According to the Financial Management and Powers of Principal Accounting Officers Regulations, 2021 issued by the Finance Division here on Thursday, while recommending an officer as principal accounting officer, the Secretary of the Division concerned shall provide administrative, procedural and other justifications and cogent reasons thereof.

The Finance Division shall process the case and shall notify it in the official Gazette with the prior approval of the Prime Minister.

A principal accounting officer shall be accountable before the Parliament of Pakistan including all relevant Parliamentary Committees for the use of resources, regularity and propriety of the expenditure undertaken from the budget, special fund or public account as principal accounting officer.

These regulations shall apply to all federal government ministries and divisions and attached departments and sub-ordinate offices thereof and any other federal government organisations and entities that are functioning under the existing rules and regulations to run their official business, except Defence Services for which new financial regulations shall be notified by Ministry of Defence.

The principal accounting officer shall be responsible to adhere to and enforce the principles of financial propriety, including the compliance of laws, rules, regulations, maintaining high standard of prudence, vigilance, due diligence and ensuring value for money while incurring expenditure and collecting government receipts.

The heads of the autonomous bodies or organisations who have not been designated as principal accounting officers but who receive funds from the government shall exercise the same powers as are delegated to a head of department under these regulations, in addition to specific financial powers conferred upon him under an enactment or rules or regulations.

The powers delegated to principal accounting officers and other officers in the attached Schedule are subject to following principles that under Rule of Business 1973, Finance Division has been allocated business relating to finances of the Federal Government and financial matters affecting the country as a whole and sanctions of internal and external expenditure requiring concurrence of the Finance Division; under these regulations, Finance Division is delegating financial powers to principal accounting officers, heads of departments and sub-ordinate offices as per the attached Schedule.

The principal accounting officers and other officers shall exercise the delegated powers and sanction expenditure accordingly.

The heads of departments and heads of autonomous bodies shall also be responsible for financial propriety and accountability to the extent of financial powers delegated to them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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