Govt to mainstream climate dimension in regular audit

Apr 11, 2018

The government is looking to mainstream the climate dimension in its regular audit system by updating the existing auditing standards, codes and manuals.

The Finance Division has already produced a number of addenda in this regard for possible inclusion in the auditing standards, codes and manuals of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The proposed addenda were shared with the relevant stakeholders during a workshop on 11 April organized by UNDP supported "Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Resilience (IBFCR)" Project of Finance Division.

At present, the auditors generally follow the Auditing Standards, Audit Code and Performance Audit Manual issued by OCAG in conducting performance audit.

"However, stakeholder consolation, experience of two audit interventions and literature review amply justify the need for mainstreaming the climate performance audit in the regular audit system of OCAG", said Ranjit Kumar Chakraborty, project manager IBFCR.

"This calls for updating the government auditing standards, codes and manuals incorporating necessary guidelines for auditing climate expenditure", he added.

When it comes to Audit Code, it was identified that there are certain areas where minor changes may provide guidance to the auditors where climate dimension can be incorporated while conducting their audits.

For example, experts proposed that there are certain insertions that can be included in Section 6 and Section 7 of Chapter 1 of the Audit Manual to embed the climate change issues in the auditing process.

Again, when it comes to Auditing Standards, it was proposed to include a few sections in chapter 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the existing standards which deals with general standards, audit approach and field standards.

While reviewing the Audit Manual, it was observed that the manual did not include climate dimension in present performance audit practice and therefore some insertion were suggested to guide OCAG auditors in conducting climate performance audit without creating any upheaval.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Secretary Md Muslim Chowdhury said as the country is graduating the form the Least Developed Country status and experiencing increasing GDP growth, it is important to look at other dimensions of growth to ensure that economic boom is protecting the natural environment.

"The issues of climate change need to be taken on board seriously by the OCAG very seriously, even at the macro level", he added.

Comptroller and Auditor General Masud Ahmed, who attended it as chief guest, emphasised adapting a holistic approach in embed climate dimension in the government auditing process.

The workshop also shared some proposed Generic Criteria for Climate Performance Audit, and also some proposed guidelines for planning Climate Performance Audit embedding climate dimension.

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