ISLAMABAD - Ehsaas Governance Observatory on Wednesday decided that no Ehsaas implementing agency would be allowed to get a post-facto approval on its budget.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar, while presiding over a stock take meeting for the Ehsaas Governance Observatory, said: “Today, a new metric was also included in the framework of the Governance Observatory. We took a decision that no Ehsaas implementing agency will be allowed to get a post-facto approval on its budget.” Under the observatory, semi-annual reviews are conducted to review Ehsaas Governance and integrity metrics focusing on board efficiency, financial control, risk & compliance, and business operations. Several indicators are tracked in these categories.”  

The Governance Observatory was established in June 2020 to monitor adherence to the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy, which was approved by the cabinet in November 2019. Governance Observatory aims to review and improve governance systems and practices of all four executing agencies which are instrumental in implementing Ehsaas programmes and initiatives. The purpose is to build systems that strongly discourage corruption and to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with rules.

All four executing agencies of Ehsaas including BISP, PPAF, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and TVO came to the table together with Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), Additional Secretary PASSD, and officials from Ehsaas Delivery Unit.

The governance observatory dashboard takes stock of the cadence of board meetings to ensure board meetings are held as per statutory requirements. It also takes stock of the meetings of notified board committees which are mandatory as highlighted in the policy. Internal and external audits are key functions to ensure financial control and transparency. To this end, there are several audit related indicators being tracked by the observatory to ensure audits are conducted regularly and reports are presented to the board.

The governance observatory also monitors organisational risks and tracks, if appropriate risk mitigation systems are in place. This also includes risks associated with usage of information technology systems, especially data governance. Moreover, the observatory actively monitors business operations practices to make sure that effective HR policies needed for the functioning of these organisations in place.

Specifically, the governance observatory tracks the following indicators: required board meetings conducted in the last 12 months; board committee meeting minutes for the past year circulated, internal audit report for the last fiscal year presented to the board; risk based internal audit plan for the next fiscal year presented to the board; AGP audit report for the last fiscal year presented to the board; external audit report for the last fiscal year presented to the board; error fraud corruption report for the last quarter presented to the board; error fraud corruption cases reported and resolved in the last 12 months; conflict of interest policy approved by the board; conflict of interest cases reported and resolved in the last 12 months; latest risk register, including proof of submission to the board; IT security policy in place approved by the board; IT audit conducted in the past year; whistle blowing policy approved by the board; whistle blowing cases reported and resolved in last 12 months; employee conduct rules approved by the board; gender harassment cases reported and resolved in the last 12 months; and procurement manual approved by the board.