Mobile operators to be audited again

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The telecoms regulator has called applications from auditing firms to audit the books of the mobile-phone operators.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) posted an advertisement on its web site on Sunday.
In 2011, a similar attempt was withheld by the court as the mobile operators questioned the method of auditing by local firms, which the BTRC had appointed then.
Sunday’s advertisement said foreign auditors can also make bid alongside the local ones, but specified that the local auditors have to be registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
However, regardless of foreign and local venture, all the participants have to form a joint venture or partnership with each other to join the bid.
In case of local auditors, the foreign firms will have to work as the associate.
According to the BTRC web-post, foreign firms have to join the bid in “association or affiliation” with local auditors.
It said the lead firm of the joint effort needs to have 10 years of experience while for the associates the bar is set at five years.
Interested firms have been asked to submit documents by Mar 3, BTRC said adding that it will bear the cost of auditing.
The auditors will have to verify the imported telecom equipment prices with that of the prices recorded with the BTRC and check the taxes paid by the mobile operators to the BTRC, NBR and other government bodies.
They will be also required to verify the financial statements of the operators.
On Oct 3 2011, the BTRC in a letter asked Grameenphone to pay Tk 30.34 billion after the company was audited by a local firm.
Grameenphone questioned the audit and moved the court to hold the letter’s effectiveness.
The court did so on Oct 20 and since then the mobile operators had demanded auditing by international firms.