Address CAG’s concerns
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has pointed out several deficiencies in the implementation of various programmes and internal-control measures in selected departments in Jammu and Kashmir.
The CAH which has made its audit report public has asked the Union Territory administration to look into the matter and revamp the system to ensure a proper response to the audit observations in a time-bound manner.
In its report on the social, general, economic (non-public sector undertakings) sectors for the year ending March 31, 2019, the CAG said the pendency of a large number of paragraphs indicates a lack of adequate response from the government departments to the audit.
Notably, the audit has pointed out several significant deficiencies in the implementation of various programmes or activities as well as on the quality of internal-control measures in certain departments, which have a negative impact on the success of the programmes and the functioning of the departments.
During 2018-19, the CAG said a compliance audit of 727 drawing and disbursing officers and 74 units of 25 autonomous bodies was conducted by the office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The report said the handbook of instructions for a speedy settlement of audit observations or inspection reports (IRs) issued by the government (finance department) provides for a prompt response by the executive to the IRs issued by the Principal Accountant General (Audit) to ensure remedial or rectification action in compliance with the prescribed rules and procedures.
However, the CAG observed pendency of a large number of paragraphs, indicating lack of adequate response of the government departments to the audit. The CAG has also pointed out deficiencies in settling the objections raised by the audit body.
Importantly, only two Audit Committee meetings were held during 2018-19, in which 28 audit paragraphs were settled, which account for 0.06 per cent of the pending objections as of March 2019.
Jammu and Kashmir is right now under the direct control of the centre with the administration acting totally independent of the elected representatives as the UT has no elected assembly.
Therefore, the administration cannot escape the responsibility by citing reasons of political pressures and interference in making the system transparent and efficient.
Right now the administration is totally free from any such interference and executing reforms can be fast tracked to make the government departments and services more responsive besides result oriented.