'Accountability Nepal' has been officially launched, here today, aiming at strengthening the Office of Auditor General.
Experts during the launch of 'Accountability Nepal' shared their ideas on strengthening financial audits, performance audits, and highlighted the efficient management of public resources.
"Effective implementation of the Auditor General's annual report is a must for government accountability," said acting auditor general Bimala Subedi, inaugurating the programme.
Every year, the Office of Auditor General publishes the audit report of government agencies, public entities and local government bodies. "The report is handed over to the head of the state, who then sends it to the Parliament," she said, adding that Public Accounts Committee (PAC), under the Parliament, further scrutinises it for its effective implementation.
"Though effective implementation rests on respective agencies themselves, questionable expenses have been increasing continuously," she added.
Apart from promoting accountability and transparency in public spending, Accountability Nepal aims to improve the quality of audit and its impact within the portals of government and in the broader public sphere, said team leader of Accountability Nepal Anupam Kulshrestha.
Sponsored by Multi Donor Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank, and implemented by Office of Auditor General, the project was started in November 2012, he said, adding that the project will run for 30 months till May 2015. "Cowater International Inc of Canada is serving as project consultant with associates PP Pradhan and Co of Nepal."
The project, a part of the government's Public Financial Management Reform Programme, will also enhance the quality of financial statement audits, upgrade the capacity to conduct performance audits, and enhance the impact of audits.
"It has a target to increase the percentage of financial audits meeting international standards to 70 per cent under the enhancement of quality of financial statement audits," Kulshrestha added. "Likewise, it will help increase the number of in-depth performance audits reported to Parliament annually to three from one on a selected theme, programme, department of the government under upgrading capacity to conduct performance audits."
Similarly, it will give technical support to PAC, enhance audit reporting process, enhance audit follow-up process and software — under enhancing impact of audits — which will help increase percentage of current year audit recommendations implemented to 50 per cent from less than 35 per cent at present, he added.