The Audit Bureau of Circulations is responsible for conducting the circulation audit of newspapers, periodicals and issues ABC certificates on Net Paid Circulation of newspapers/periodicals. There are mainly two procedure through which the auditing is done
- Submission of online documents (After Launching of Automation System)
- Submission of documents (Manual)
The new online automation system shall facilitate the publishers to submit audit online. Initially, publication profile has to done anytime during the year so that at time of audit, only the fields related to audit prifile required to be filled.
The current audit procedure has 8-tier audit process to ensure transparency, credibility and non-discriminatory approach to assess circulations.
- Step 1 : Application for Audit
- Step 2 : Audit of Documents
- Step 3: Formulation of Audit Report
- Step 4: Physical Verifications
- Step 5: Examination by Provincial Assessment Committee
- Step 6: Examining by Director ABC and issuance of Notice and Appeal
- Step 7: Appeal to the Director ABC
- Step 8: Issuance of Circulation Certificate
Step 1: Application for Audit
The Publisher of publication applies for audit at ABC headquarter or the concerned ABC/PID regional office from where the publication is carried out.
Initially the publisher is required to submit the following mandatory documents along with application.
- Declaration of Publisher issued by the concerned DCO/District Magistrate.
- Declaration of Printer issued by the concerned DCO/District Magistrate.
- Registration Certificate issued by The Press Registrar, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad
- Regularity certificate, issued by concerned authorities in respective region.
- NOC from Press Council of Pakistan
The Publisher shall apply for Audit online and after acceptance of application the respective ABC/PID office communicates a date to the applicant for conducting the audit. At the time of audit, following documents have to be produced by the Publisher.:
Declaration of Publisher and Printer authenticated by DCO (original to be presented at the time of audit)
Registration Certificate issued by the Press Registrar, PID (original to be presented at the time of audit)
NTN Certificate of Newspaper/Periodical showing the name of Publisher and Publication (original to be presented at the time of audit)
Regularity Certificate (Original to be presented at the time of audit)
Receipt and NOC of Press Council of Pakistan fee
Circulation Register/Agency Register
Cash Book, Ledger and Vouchers etc.
Receipt and Bill Books
Balance sheet providing Profit and Loss Accounts
Press bills and Receipts original with photo copies thereof
Specimen copies of all issues during the audit period
List of employees indicating their salaries along with copies of CNICs
Agent statement (original)
List of complimentary copies
Attested copies of Electricity bills of the office for the audit period
Attested copies of telephone bills of the office for audit period
Rent deed if office of the publication is in a rented building and bills are in the name of owner
Affidavit certifying that all the information and documents given by the publisher are correct to the best of his knowledge. Forgery/discrepancy of documents and facts/figures shall lead to initiation of legal proceeding as per rules.
The audit team at the ABC will fill ‘Form-V’ (Observation Form) after having received all the required documents, enlisted in (Steps 1 & 2).
Step 4: Physical Verifications
Surprise field visits may be conducted, on case to case basis, for the physical verification of printing presses and Akhbar Market to assess the actual print order, and in order to assess the stall value of the newspaper / periodical concerned. The teams are constituted by ABC headquarter and regional offices. The audit team prepares the physical verification report.
Step 5: Examination by Provincial Assessment Committee
All cases, complete in all respects, along-with the observations of the audit team, are referred to the Provincial Assessment Committee (PAC) for the determination of circulation figure. PAC comprises of one member each from PID, Provincial Information Department (including AJK on requirement basis) and Audit Bureau of Circulation. Each member of PAC, after considering the audit report and assessment about the publication gives his own figure about the circulation of the publication. Despite the fact, at times, all the members may reach a unanimous figure. PAC is a recommending forum and certificate is issued after giving due consideration to PAC’s recommendation.
Step 6: Examining by Director ABC and issuance of Notice and Appeal
Respective offices of ABC/PID forward the audit cases complete in all respects for final decision at ABC Headquarters. In the light of the report by the audit team, physical verification team and recommendations by PAC, the Director ABC, after duly scrutinizing the case, determines a circulation figure of a publication. The figure is conveyed to the management through a notice.
If the management of publication does not agree with the noticed figure, they put an appeal to Director, ABC for revising the audited figure.
The notice, as referred above; inter-alia includes that if the publisher is not satisfied with notice figure and appeals for revision, he has to provide further documentary evidence to substantiate the claimed figure of circulation. These documents include:
- Copy of the Income Tax return audited period clearly showing the net revenue on account of sale of publication.
- Bank statement clearly showing transactions of employees salaries.
Step 8: Issuance of Circulation Certificate
Circulation certificate is issued, if no communication is made within 30 days of issuance of notice, or if an appeal is made, after disposal of appeal.
- The publisher accepts the figure and conveys his acceptance in writing.
- In case the publisher files an appeal, after the disposal of same by the Director ABC.
- After expiry of 30 days in case, the publisher neither accepts the figure nor appeals against the notice figure.