SAO Afghanistan Welcomes New Auditor General, Deputy Auditor General

New Auditor General

Mr. Mohammad Naiem Haqmal assumed the Office of the Auditor General of Afghanistan on March 2, 2019. Mr. Haqmal, a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), earned his bachelor’s degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brooks University, England, and obtained his Master of Business Administration in 2013 from the World Wide Science Business School.

He has over 12 years of professional experience and training in management, accounting, financial management and auditing across numerous sectors and, both private and public. His experience includes serving as a Finance Manager with the Afghanistan Holding Group and teaching ACCA subjects at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). Mr. Haqmal has also worked with several international agencies, such as Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) International, United Nations Development Program, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.

Before assuming his role as Auditor General of Afghanistan, Mr. Haqmal served as the Chairman of the Kabul Bank Receivership Commission and as Deputy Minister (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense.


New Deputy Auditor General

Mr. Fazel Hadi Fazel possesses over 10 years of professional experience in the field of audit. He began his career with Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) Afghanistan and has served different entities in the public and private sectors. Prior to his current appointment, he was head of Internal Audit at American University of Afghanistan and served as an independent member of the Audit Committee in numerous commercial banks. His international experience includes projects with USAID and the World Bank. As founder, President and Chairman of the Board for Institute of Internal Auditors Afghanistan, Mr. Fazel has strived to promote the profession in the country.

Mr. Fazel earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kabul University and an MBA from AUAF. He is a certified Fraud Examiner from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and active audit lecturer, and has trained in a wide variety of professional and managerial topics—including identifying and detecting fraud, auditing, accounting—a at broad range of institutions.


Changes and Recent Developments

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) of Afghanistan endeavors to keep pace with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institution (ISSAI) requirements; meet conditions set by development partner benchmarks; and achieve an effective basis as an independent Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) to deliver quality audit products. To do this, the SAO has implemented the following changes:

  • A monitoring mechanism has been developed to collect and analyze audit recommendation implementation status.
  • Based on the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Capacity Building Committee (CBC) framework, the SAO established a long-term professionalization and capacity development plan and strategy that seeks to cultivate capacity through an approach that includes training and professional certification. In 2019, the SAO set up a Training and Capacity Development Center responsible for conducting an annual program for new employees that highlights relevant local, regional and global accountability topics.
  • As per a government-wide initiative, the SAO has undertaken a review to assess organizational structure, operations and processes; measure staff adequacy and competence; identify redundancies and efficiencies; and evaluate ability to meet the as an institution of public trust that contributes to accountable, transparent and effective national public financial management. Additionally, the SAO has employed an international expert to provide guidance on how to best meet ISSAI requirements.
  • The SAO set up a Research, Development and Training Committee (RDTC) to study best practices and applicable standards, as well as emerging changes and innovations, and provide input to develop, update and innovate SAO audit approaches, methodologies, processes, management and quality control.  The RDTC has already developed ISSAI-based standardized manuals and toolkits for financial and compliance audits.
  • In 2019, a full-fledged Information Technology (IT) Audit Directorate was created. A significant achievement and first step to separate IT audit work from IT support and administration, the new directorate is recognition of IT audit’s importance in achieving the SAO’s strategic objectives in providing good IT governance, integrity, security, effectiveness and efficiency of IT systems and programs.
  • The SAO seeks to assure quality audit products by implementing Quality Assurance (QA) guidelines and establishing a Proof Reading Committee to review draft audit reports.
  • The SAO devised a Stakeholder Engagement Plan that aims to transform stakeholder communications by increasing interaction and simplifying audit language.  The plan’s objectives include listening to stakeholders concerns; consulting with key decision-makers to address stakeholder concerns; enhancing citizen participation; and strengthening cooperation with development partners.

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