Punjab govt planning to create DAO to avoid pre-audit

Punjab govt planning to create DAO to avoid pre-audit

ISLAMABAD: Under a well-conceived move to avoid the pre-audit, the government of Punjab is all set to create district accounts officer (DAO) in Lahore under the Ministry of Finance, Punjab.
Sources told Pakistan Today that Punjab government wants to establish DAO in Lahore in order to escape from the pre-audit system, as it had to face embarrassment in the recent reported companies’ scam.
In this regard, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of law minister in the second week of January. The participants deliberated on this matter thoroughly. They include law minister, finance minister, and excise minister, along with chief secretary, law secretary, finance secretary, excise secretary and Punjab Revenue Authority chairman, who are the members of the said committee.
It is pertinent to mention here that the chief minister established a committee on this issue in the beginning of this month.
One officer, on the condition of anonymity, said Punjab Finance Department wants its own payment system for Lahore, and if the government will create a new office, then it will violate the law. Payment of salary, GPF and pension could be disbursed through AG Punjab office, which has a computerised system centrally controlled by CGA office.
This centralised control of the system is the only effective tool which strengthens AG’s overall functional control for payment and accounting, the officer added.
Meanwhile, one officer of Punjab government said that the purpose of creation of DAO is not only to escape from pre-audit, but the provincial government also wishes to spend the consolidated funds without any check, adding that if the provincial finance ministry will create a DAO in Lahore, then it will violate the law.
The government of Punjab is running the affairs of DAO with treasury and account officers.
Sources further said that the treasury officials are more politicised as compared to AG officials, and Punjab government is giving every newly created district to treasury officers of the provincial government.
Presently, there are 36 DAOs in Punjab. The AG Office officials (Federal employees) have only 10 such districts to head, whereas the rest of the 26 are with treasury officers under Punjab government.
It is pertinent to mention here that DAO scheme was introduced in 1983 and treasury was made part of DAO; otherwise, they worked under the administrative control of DC of that district.
Punjab’s Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that the purpose of creation of this office is to make an effective system of monitoring of payment. “This is not done in order to abstain from pre-audit of companies,” she clarified.

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