LHC Orders District Governments’ Audit To Be Presented To Public Accounts Committee
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the Punjab Governor and the Chief Minister to present audit reports on the accounts of district governments before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Punjab Assembly.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah also directed a provincial law officer to submit compliance report of the order on Feb 4.
The judge was hearing a petition by Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed about the non-presentation of audit reports of district governments of the province before the PAC.
In the case, the Auditor General of Pakistan and the Punjab Assembly through its secretary had already informed the court that the audit reports of district governments for financial years 2001-02 to 2011-12 had been submitted to the governor and the chief minister but had yet to be discussed at any forum.
During the hearing, petitioner’s counsel Sheraz Zaka argued that under Article 171 of the Constitution “the reports of the auditor general relating to the accounts of a province shall be submitted to the Governor of the province, who shall cause them to be laid before the Provincial Assembly”.
He said the audit reports of district governments of the Punjab had never been presented to the PAC nor laid before the house.
He said section 108 of Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 says “the audit reports of the auditor general shall be considered by the PAC”.
He said the PAC was the main instrument of parliamentary system and its strengthening was essential to ensure accountability of public funds and good governance, which would eventually eliminate corruption from the public sector.
This news was previously published in DAWN and it is being republished here with permission.