Foreign Aided Projects Audit Directorate is very well-known in its abbreviated name ‘Fapad’. Fapad is one of the ten different Audit Directorates under the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General (OCAG), the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Bangladesh. This specialized directorate is entrusted with the responsibilities of auditing the activities of all development and technical assistance projects and programmes in the public sector funded by foreign aid.
Since Fapad is committed to a specialized kind of development project auditing, it provides independent assurance to the National Parliament of Bangladesh as well as to Development Partners on the proper accounting use of project resources.
This institution has a long history to come to its present position. In the decades of 1970s to 80s, foreign aid played an important role in stabilizing the economy of Bangladesh to bear the after effects of the war of independence. Importantly, the increasing flow of foreign aid and the inevitability of ensuring proper accounting use of this aid caused the establishment of an office to the government
Behind the establishment of this office, foreign aid organizations, especially World Bank, ADB and others had an inspiring role. As a specific move, World Bank in a letter to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning on 09-06-1981 outlined the necessity of establishment of an office for auditing of foreign aided projects.
Accordingly, the Office of Comptroller & Auditor General sent a proposal of opening a new office for accounting of foreign aid and for auditing of the foreign aided projects to the Finance Division, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning on 15-12-1981 as per the mandate of CAG. The Finance Division in consultation with ERD and World Bank conferred their final sanction of setting up this directorate on 21-11-1982.
Finally, the activities of Fapad started in March 1983 in full swing. Since its formal beginning in 1983, Fapad has been conducting effective audit of public sector operations for optimum utilization of public resources providing reliable and objective information to assist the government in ensuring accountability and transparency of foreign funds in Bangladesh.
The activities of Fapad have drawn our attention. So, in this issue of The Guardian we choose to focus on the overall activities, limitations, achievements and future action-plans of Fapad. Accordingly, the issue contains an exclusive interview of learned director general and a number of articles of experienced audit officials. We believe these valuable stories published here will attract not only our readers at home and abroad but also our policy makers as well and all will find interest in them.