SEC of Pakistan includes CFE credential qualification in public head of internal audit positions


The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in an effort to enhance corporate governance standards, has included the Certified Fraud Examiner credential in the legal framework of its Code of Corporate Governance (CCG), which lists a set of recognized qualifications for head of internal audit positions for all companies on the three stock exchanges in Pakistan at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. 

According to Waseem Ahmed Khan, CFE, MPA, FCMA, former president of the ACFE Islamabad Chapter and a senior manger with the SECP, the CFE credential also has been included as a preferred qualification for chief internal auditor positions for state-owned companies in the government’s Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Regulations

Clause (xiv) of the Pakistani CCG and rule 22 (2) of Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Regulation reads: 

No person shall be appointed as the Head of Internal Audit of a listed company unless he/she has 5 years of relevant audit experience and is:

  • a member of a recognized body of professional accountants; or
  • a Certified Internal Auditor; or 
  • a Certified Fraud Examiner; or 
  • Certified Internal Control Auditor. 

After the introduction of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Certified Internal Auditor credential in the CCG, the Pakistan Chapter of the ACFE recommended that the International Affairs Division (IAD) of the SECP consider including the CFE credential for the post of head of internal audit. The chapter supported its request with detailed documents and reports. The IAD of the SECP suggested that the CCG task force review and include the CFE credential. 

Khan was a member of the review task forces that formed the frameworks of the CCG and public sector regulations; he explained CFEs’ unique skills and recommended the inclusion of the CFE credential into both. Syed Waseem Fawad, CFE, CICA, director and founding president of the ACFE Pakistan Chapter, worked for the inclusion of the CFE credential as a qualification.

These are big steps for the nascent anti-fraud profession in Pakistan, which has its roots in both tragedy and inspiration. The above successes began with the deaths of two CFEs in Karachi, Pakistan. Larry Jennings, CFE, CPA, and Tracy Ritchie, CFE, CPA, both from Houston, Texas, were among five people who were fatally wounded when terrorists in Karachi fired upon their vehicle on Nov. 14, 1997. 

All five were employees of the Houston-based Union Texas Petroleum Holdings Inc. Ritchie served as senior audit supervisor, and Jennings served as audit manager for the company. The fatal attack occurred when they were en route to Union Texas’ Karachi office. (The ACFE dedicated the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program to these two members.)  

News of the devastating attack quickly spread and caught the attention of Fawad. “Prior to the assassination of the two CFEs, an ACFE member base in Pakistan was nonexistent,” he said. He recalls that his first visit to the ACFE website was immediately after the ACFE’s publication of the passing of Jennings and Ritchie. “Mr. Jennings and Mr. Ritchie opened the gate for the anti-fraud profession in Pakistan by sacrificing their life for the betterment of Pakistani society. And now I am working in that profession.” Fawad is the president of the Institute for Internal Controls Inc. – Pakistan Chapter; director of Hina Fawad & Co. (fraud examiners); and director of Forensic Accounting Control & Tracing Services (Pvt.) Ltd. in Karachi, Pakistan.



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