Policy Note Presentation on 'Public Private Partnership for Improved Audit Quality Assurance' resulting in Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the 'Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB)’ and the 'Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG)', Bangladesh was held on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka.
Mr. Ghulam Muhammed Quader MP, Honourable Minister for Commerce, GoB was present at the Policy Note Presentation Ceremony as the Chief Guest. Ms. Suraiya Zannath Khan FCA, Sr. Financial Management Specialist, South Asia Region, the World Bank presented the Key Policy Note on Public Private Partnership for Improved Audit Quality Assurance.
The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Md. Syful Islam FCA, President ICAB, Mr Abdus Salam FCA, Vice President ICAB, Mr Ahmed Ataul Hakeem, CAG, Bangladesh, Bob Shambler, representative National Audit Office, UK, Vernon Soare, ICAEW , UK and Mr B B Pundit, Deputy CAG, India were present in the ceremony. President ICAB Mr. Md. Syful Islam FCA in his welcome speech said that the MoU between the two prominent institution of the country will be a historical one. He expressed his sincere thanks to the World Bank, National Audit Office (NAO) UK and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and DFID to extend their wholehearted support. In Bangladesh the recent studies reveal that private and public sector Professionals and the Institutes have been functioning in two different streams making limited impact on the services provided by them. This has constrained the institutions of accountabilities like Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament from engaging professional firms for any specialized audit or in the formulation of rules for public and private sectors entities. He further added that by signing the MoU the supreme audit institution of Bangladesh the OCAG and the main professional regulatory body the ICAB would be able to avail a unique opportunity to gain the improvement in the Audit quality assurance in Bangladesh. "This would allow us to transfer of technical knows- how, research and exchange of academic expertise fostering the world class standard professionalism in Bangladesh Audit practice."Based on the policy note on Public Private Partnership for Improved Audit Quality Assurance, some issues of limitations and challenges are come out that are considered to frame out the MoU objectives", he believed. Under this MoU both the Institutions would be able to arrange strategic training programs, knowledge sharing seminars, educational transactions and professional skill development research programs on improved audit quality assurance for the sake of strong governance, effective decision making, high performance in financial service delivery and a sustainable economic escalation in Bangladesh as a whole", he further added.
The CAG in his speech said that worldwide, by signing this agreement today, we vow to take transparency and accountability in respect of financial services to a new height. This would give chances to interact and exchange cooperation between the institutions, He said that this is long awaited moment that we wanted to collaborate for the greater interest that the constitution has given mandate to OCAG and the regulatory role that ICAB has. I welcome ICAB to the effective partnership with OCAG. I truly believe that the two institutions would work together in institutionalize sharing of knowledge and experience and help each other in building deficient capacities. It is apparent that the present interface between OCAG and ICAB is minimal. So, to enhance the mutual confidence, to communicate and understand each other better the both institutions need to ensure consultative mechanism under which the knowledge on accounting and auditing standards, education and training programs can be arranged on mutual interest. Hence, the policy note would guide us the way to explore the scope for building a realistic partnership between ICAB and OCAG suggesting an effective mechanism to lift up the standards of accountability in public Financial Management to achieve the rapid economic growth in Bangladesh.
The Honb'le Commerce Minister said that it is an appreciable effort that two important institution is going to work together for a greater interest of the nation, OCAG functions as per the Constitution of the country.They have been mandated to ensure transparency and accountability of the exchequers money. On the other hand the ICAB's role is important for private sector auditing. Both these institution can contribute in ensuring the public and private wastage, corruption free society, specially in a situation where the scam of Destiny, Hallmark is in the lead news and many are yet to surface. We can not shy away from it and the matter would be dealt seriously sdo that there are no repetition of it.
Bob Shambler, representative National Audit Office, UK and Vernon Soare, ICAEW , UK made a combined presentation and show how they collaborate and cooperate between their two important institutions of UK. UK NAO is classed as an authorised training employer. As such ICAEW performs an inspection to assess the adequacy of UK NAO policies on training; ICAEW has accredited UK NAO performance management system to be used for recording trainees’ work experience and performance; ICAEW reviews trainee records to ensure UK NAO is following their principles & that required training record forms are being completed; UK NAO has a member on the ICAEW Council and Board; UK NAO participates in ICAEW consultations. Mr BB Pundit, Deputy CAG, India also exchanges about his experience of India and explained the necessity of such cooperation.
Ms. Suraiya Zannath Khan FCA, Sr. Financial Management Specialist, South Asia Region, the World Bank presented the Key Policy Note on Public Private Partnership for Improved Audit Quality Assurance. PPP a form of collaboration bringing resources together to achieve common objective which each acting alone cannot. In today’s rapid changing business needs, PPP is no longer viewed as option but a way to meet rising challenges. The Accounting professions around the globe are repositioning to reap the benefit of PPP. She identifies some drawbacks like Shift from compliance to performance audit, Mismatch- persistent weakness in the Internal Control system and audit report not influencing change in the PFM system. Update the mandate through formulation of an Audit Act.Enhanced engagement with stakeholders ; Make OCAG more accessible to people, Harness the expertise and experience of private sector auditor, aspire appropriate professional qualifications from ICAB or similar other institutions and building professional partnership,Better placed to exercise its mandate more vigorously. She also highlighted the mechanism of India and Canada.
This MOU between these two regulatory bodies are expected to promote greater transparency, ensuring accountability in both the public and private sectors allowing the contribution towards economic growth of the nation.