May 31: The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is preparing to send a team to investigate the audit reports of political parties upon the request of the Election Commission. The EC had sent a letter to the OAG seeking its support to investigate the audit reports of the parties.
The EC decided to seek OAG’s help to conduct the audit after it was deemed necessary to conduct further examination on whether the audit reports with the details of income and expenditure submitted by the political parties were accurate or not.
According to the Election Commission, the audit reports of the political parties for the fiscal year 2021/22 submitted to the commission will be checked by the new team involving staff from the OAG.
There is a legal provision that political parties should conduct an audit within six months of the end of a fiscal year and the report should be made public and submitted to the Election Commission. It is clearly mentioned in the concerned Act that the audit report obtained in this way can be further audited by the Commission.
Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapalia said that those who have not submitted the report are being asked for an explanation as to why they have not submitted the report and why action should not be taken against them.
“The Commission has decided to ask the Office of the Auditor General to send a five-member team to the Commission to investigate the audit reports," Thapalia told New Business Age.
According to Chief Election Commissioner Thapaliya, it is to see if the details are correct or not.
Nine out of the 116 political parties registered with the Commission submitted their reports after the deadline while 16 have not submitted the report.
According to Mahesh Kafle, Deputy Auditor General of the Auditor General's Office, the team is ready to be sent as requested by the commission.
“All political parties should audit their income/expenditure and submit the report to the Election Commission. After they submit, the commission will study and see if there is any anomalies,” he said, adding, "All this falls under the jurisdiction of the Election Commission. The commission has written to investigate whether the audit done by the parties is in accordance with the law. The Office of the Auditor General is in the process of sending a team.”
According to Kafle, the expert team will study and give appropriate suggestions to the commission.