Parliamentary Hearing Process of Proposed Auditor General Begins

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Parliamentary Hearing Process of Proposed Auditor General Begins

April 1: The Parliamentary Hearings Committee has initiated the process of hearing of the proposed Auditor General Toyam Raya from Monday.

The Secretary-General of the Federal Parliament, Padma Prasad Pandey informed that a meeting of the Parliamentary Hearings Committee on Monday decided to issue a notice to the general public to submit any complaints related to Raya to the committee within 10 days.

The meeting of the Constitutional Council on Sunday decided to recommend Raya, the Chief Statistics Officer of the National Statistics Office, for the post of Auditor General.

The post of Auditor General has remained vacant for around ten months ever since the then Auditor General Tankamani Sharma Dangal retired after completing his term on May 22 last year.

The Office of the Auditor General has been running under the acting auditor since then. After Sharma's retirement, the then Deputy Auditor General Rammaya Kunwar was given the responsibility of Acting Auditor General for one and a half months. After Kunwar went on compulsory retirement on August 7, Maheshwar Kafle got the responsibility.

Bamdev Sharma was given the responsibility of Acting Auditor General after Kafle went on mandatory retirement due to the age limit in late January. According to the constitutional provisions, the term of the Auditor General is 6 years. Political parties try to appoint someone close to them as the Auditor General who can fulfill their agenda.

As the ruling parties wait for the right moment to appoint the Auditor General, the financial discipline of the government is getting worse. The Office of the Auditor General audits all federal and state government offices including the Office of the President and Vice President, Supreme Court, Federal Parliament, Provincial Assembly, Provincial Government, Local Level, Constitutional Bodies and Offices, Courts, Attorney General's Office, Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force. The purpose of the audit is to protect the public resources of the country.

The Office of the Auditor General also gives necessary suggestions and recommendations based on the effectiveness of government income and expenditure. The office submits and publishes the annual report of all government agencies to the President. The Office of the Auditor General has the right to see the accounting documents at any time to audit various agencies of the Central and State Governments. However, the lack of leadership has made the Office of the Auditor General weak in its role.

The Constitutional Council recommended Raya from among fifteen candidates who had applied for the coveted post after the council invited applications for the office bearers of various constitutional bodies including the vacant Auditor General during the beginning of the current fiscal year.

Other candidates who were in the fray for the post of Auditor General were former Acting Auditor General Kunwar and recently appointed Acting Auditor General, Bamdev Sharma, Deputy Auditor General Baikuntha Bahadur Adhikari and Chandrakant Bhandari as well as former secretaries Gopinath Mainali, Ramprasad Thapalia, Hari Basyal, Ram Sharan Pudasaini, Shankar Kharel, and Shishir Kumar Dhungana. Similarly, chartered accountants Subodh Karna and Hari Silwal had also applied for the position.

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