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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s strategic asset control body, which controls Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, has finally agreed to give access to auditors to scrutinise its accounts, as the parliament’s accountability arm gears up its campaign against all audit-dodging departments.
The Strategic Plan Division (SPD) and the office of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) are currently working out the modalities to audit the books of the division, according to officials privy to the development. They added that the audit would be carried out keeping in view the “sensitivities” attached to the work of the SPD.
The SPD was established in February 2000 to improve the control of nuclear operations, and acts as a secretariat for the National Command Authority (NCA).
The development took place after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) decided to summon the heads of all audit-dodging departments. Most notably, the PAC, headed by Nadeem Afzal Chan, has mounted pressure on the Supreme Court of Pakistan, aiming to convince the court to allow its Registrar to appear before the PAC. Under the Constitution, any body or department being funded by taxpayers has to be audited by the AGP.
However, despite the SPD’s decision to allow the audit department to scrutinise its books, two other attached departments of the Ministry of Defense are still resisting the move.
According to a fresh list prepared by the AGP, Defence Housing Authority officials are still resisting the statutory audit. Through a letter sent on September 17, 2012, DHA authorities refused to give access to the audit department.
The Frontier Works Organization of the Defense Ministry was also resisting the audit, according to the AGP documents, while the CMA of the FWO has already been audited by the audit department.