ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched independent audit of Pakistan Revenue Automation Pvt Limited (PRAL) to enhance efficiency of information system.
According to official documents, the detailed audit of PRAL would be conducted through independent auditors in Information and Computer Technology (ICT).
In this regard FBR invited eligible consulting firms having Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credentials from the Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and at last five years of relevant work experience with specialized skill in auditing information system.
The FBR invited EOI from the reputable companies to be submitted by December 14, 2018.
The FBR said that the work would include forensic auditing aimed at assuring the quality of the ICT system to check any vulnerability against data breaches or system hacking and acquiring general perception about the integrity and security of FBR’s ICT system.
This also includes identification of the degree of changes/improvements occurred between the time period of any previous system audit and the intended one FBR therefore will provide the consultants with the organizational access to its ICT system and related data that is required to conduct the activity.
PRAL is a private limited company and 100 percent owned by the FBR. The company was providing services since 1994 and besides FBR it was also rendering services to provincial revenue authorities.
Presently, the PRAL is providing services including development of new software’s system, maintenance of existing system and application at various locations of FBR throughout the country.
The documents revealed that previously the system audit of PRAL was conducted in year 2013 and again World Bank conducted system analysis of its various systems and application including IRIS, WeBOC, SRTIVe in year 2016.
The responsibility of PRAL are included protecting the information from disclosure to unauthorized parties data confidentiality, integrity and its availability to FBR operations.
The FBR developed ICT system for e-filing of Income Tax Returns and web-enabled One Customs (WeBOC) for electronic cargo clearing. These initiatives were taken to enhance trade facilitation and ease of doing business.
In order to ensure the reliability and efficiency of the system in place the FBR decided to conduct detailed Automated Data Processing (ADP) audit of PRAL.
An official said that PRAL was the technical service provider to FBR and it had not own IT-infrastructure. “It is utilizing FBR’s data centers, servers, storage to provide services,” the official added.
The official said that the audit would identify leakages, excesses or wastages. Besides, audit will also cover relation between FBR and PRAL and point out loopholes in services such as remuneration, agreed standards of delivery.
The official said that the FBR had gathered huge data of potential taxpayers and through this audit it would be identified that whether all database appropriately documented.
In the past the PRAL was under severe criticism for systematic loopholes. Sources in Regional Tax Office (RTO) said that issuance of sales tax refunds were remained a big issue and it was detected that some claimant received refunds earlier than those applied under first come first out (FIFO).
The sources also pointed out that in the past the return filing software had faced immense issues causing hardship for taxpayers.