Effectiveness of procurement auditing conducted by FAPAD in ensuring accountability: a case study on a selected foreign aided project
AuthorRahman, Khan Md. Ferdausur
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The purpose of the present study is to assess the effectiveness of procurement auditing of Foreign aided projects in Bangladesh, in ensuring the accountability there of. Accountability is the essence of democratic form of government. As a developing country with limited resources, Bangladesh is largely dependent on foreign assistance for its national development. All foreign aid, loan or grant, are part of the consolidated fund of the republic. Therefore it is of utmost importance for a resource-scarce country like ours to maintain financial discipline for the optimum utilization of the borrowed money, which adds burden of debt on the future generation too. Accountability of aided projects is ensured through various GoB organizations. Audit conducted by Foreign Aided Projects Audit Directorate (FAPAD) is one such mechanism, the primary responsibility of which is to audit the aided projects and certify their accounts and issue reports to the donor agencies, besides the parliament and audited entities. The study area is thus FAPAD, which on behalf of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of Bangladesh, carries out the assigned task. Needless to say, accountability enhancement in the public sector is a collective responsibility and each and every institution belonging to this partnership, namely, the parliament, the public sector and the audit institution, has to play their role effectively. Qualitative and quantitative data have been collected through content analysis and interviews of representatives from audit, auditees (project management and line ministry), development partners and members of PAC to record their views and opinions on the state of procurement audit effectiveness of donor funded projects in Bangladesh. The analytical framework is thus developed to examine the factors assumed to influence an effective procurement audit. It was observed during research that there are certain limitations that affect audit effectiveness of aided projects. Apart from putting forward some suggestions for the concerned audit directorate towards the best utilization of its resources, the present study is also expected to leave scope for the stakeholders of FAPAD audit reports (both preliminary reports and C&AG’s audit reports) to review their ownership in the chain of the accountability framework.