Mr. M A Mannan MP, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of  Finance and Ministry of Planning at a Seminar jointly organized by Cabinet Division and BIGD
Effective use of technology and professionalism needed for quick disposal of audit objections

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Effective use of technology can help in quick disposal of public sector audit objections, said Mr. M A Mannan MP, State Minister of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning. Citing Government Performance Management System (GPMS), a creative tool which helps to measure performance and subsequently reveal what works and what does not, Mr. Mannan said the Audit department is a key player in ensuring that such useful technology-based tool gets used for the improvement of the system and establishing good governance. He also said professional conduct by the audit officials will play a critical role to restrict the climbing number of audit objections.  He stressed on further simplification of the public audit system.

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Mr. Mannan was addressing a seminar as the Chief Guest titled Facilitating Disposal of Audit Objections on March 12, 2016, co-organized by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University and the Cabinet Division of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, in partnership with the World Bank Group under a project titled ‘Community of Practice on Performance Management in South Asia.’

Mr. Mahbub Ahmed, Senior Secretary, Finance Division attended the seminar as the Special Guest. Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD and Mr. N M Zeaul Alam, Secretary in Charge (Coordination and Reforms), Cabinet Division delivered the opening and concluding remarks respectively. Mr. Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Cabinet Secretary chaired the event.

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(Clockwise from top left) M A Mannan MP, Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Mahbub Ahmed, Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, N M Zeaul Alam,
Md. Mohiuddin Khan,Md. Rafiquzzaman, Shish Haider Chowdhury, Md. Abual Hossain,Rezauddin M Chowdhury at the event

Mr. Mahbub Ahmed said there was a notion before the 90’s that resource constraint is the main problem for the developing nations. However, in current times, it is the lack of governance that poses the biggest threat. But audits can play a key role in ensuring accountability and transparency in the public sector, which eventually help to strengthen good governance. He also stressed on updating audit codes, arranging more audit-related trainings and strengthening professionalism in auditing. 

Mr. Mohammad Shafiul Alam said it is necessary to synchronise audit rules some of which have become obsolete. He stressed on compliance with government rules and regulations properly to avoid further emergence of audit objections. He also urged the Secretaries to take steps to address (climbing number of) audit objections. 

The participants at the seminar were told that a large portion of the piled up audit objections are very small and can be disposed off if there is no gap in understanding between the auditors and the officials of public entities, and by bringing about some changes to existing rules.  Recommendations also came for formulating an audit act, separation of public audit and accounts, increasing number of audit officials, introduction of internal audit system in every ministry, reduction of miscommunication between audited entities and auditors, training of officials so that they better understand existing rules and regulations, among others.

Seminar COP image 7Participants at the open discussion
Earlier in his opening remarks, Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman highlighted BIGD’s supportive drive to help strengthen the performance management system of the Government through implementation of a Government Performance Management System (GPMS) in Bangladesh since 2014, in cooperation with the World Bank Group and Cabinet Division, the Government of Bangladesh under a project titled “Community of Practice (CoP) on Performance Management in South Asia”.  He expressed his high hopes that seminars like this will carry forward the dialogue on audit vs accounts management of the Government of Bangladesh and come up with recommendations on how to effectively facilitate Disposal of Audit Objections. 

In the seminar, Mr. Rezauddin M Chowdhury, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) presented the keynote paper. Md. Rafiquzzaman, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation & Tourism; Md. Mohiuddin Khan, Additional Secretary, Cabinet Division; Md. Abual Hossain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Land, and Mr. Shish Haider Chowdhury, Deputy Secretary, Finance Division participated in the panel discussion. Amongst others, Mr. N M Zeaul Alam, Secretary in Charge (Coordination & Reforms), Cabinet division also participated in the discussion.