Pak Govt. trying to make AG office powerless against ISI, IB

| Updated: Dec 22, 2016 21:17 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Dec. 22 (ANI): In a major embarrassment for the Nawaz Sharif-led Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, the office of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) recently informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the ruling dispensation in Islamabad has made the institution powerless against the premier intelligence agencies - Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The AGP office told the PAC that the PML-N Government has virtually exempted accounts of the ISI and IB from audit through the Finance Bill 2014, reports the Dawn. "We have to accept their accounts with government certification due to a clause in the Finance Bill 2014," AGP Rana Assad Amin informed the PAC. The AGP is a constitutional institution and the supreme audit institution in the country for ensuring public accountability and fiscal transparency. Amin, who was the Finance Ministry's adviser in 2014, questioned the motive behind intelligence agencies being reluctant to get their accounts audited. The revelations were made during a meeting of the PAC. Informing the PAC that the Supreme Court had ruled in August 2013 that all funds released by the federal government were auditable, the Auditor General said the auditors were not provided any record when they started the audit of the National Crisis Management Cell's (NCMC) secret service fund. The PAC was informed that 47 objections on different spending of the secret service fund were raised by the auditors when they provided the records later on. Responding to a question by PAC member Shafqat Mehmood about the procedure for the audit of secret service fund, Amin said that the practice of releasing the secret service fund to different ministries had been abolished in 2013. He, however, said the secret service fund was still being utilised by the ISI and IB. The Auditor General said that they have sought a legal advice regarding the matter from the law division as the institution is empowered to conduct audit of all release out of public money. The PAC suggested the Auditor General to file a petition before the Supreme Court to enable them to conduct audit of the intelligence agencies. (ANI)
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