ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on State Owned Enterprises (CCoSOEs) has approved Terms of Reference (ToRs) for forensic audit of the SOEs to identify circumstances leading to their losses.

The CCoSOEs meeting presided over by Minister for Finance, Revenue, Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar also decided that forensic audit of the PIACL may be carried out through a well-reputed private sector firm after following the PPRA rules.

The Finance Division presented a summary before the Committee regarding approval of ToRs for forensic audit of the SOEs in accordance with the earlier decision of the CCoSOEs of June 20, 2021.

The secretary finance presented revised ToRs for forensic audit by the AGP Office and private audit firm(s) to identify gaps with a clear focus on suggesting improved procedures for quality assurance and cost minimisation.

The forensic audit will also identify circumstances leading to losses incurred by SOEs, besides identifying suspicious and fraudulent transactions (if any) for fixing responsibility.

After due deliberation, the Committee approved the revised ToRs for forensic audit of the State Owned Enterprises to be followed by the AGP Office as well as private audit firm(s) to be hired as per PPRA rules.

The secretary finance further apprised the meeting that the PIACL has informed that a special audit of the Pakistan International Airlines (including its subsidiaries) was conducted by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Therefore, it was recommended that forensic audit of the PIACL may be carried out through a well-reputed private sector firm after following PPRA rules.

The Committee considered and approved the said proposal.

The Committee stressed to exercise due diligence and complete the process of forensic audit at the earliest to expedite the process of bringing reforms in the SOEs. Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, and SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood also participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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