No compliance to repeated directives of GAD, Finance Deptt’
Accountant General writes to CS, conveys serious concern
JAMMU, Feb 14: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that Government departments and Public Sector Undertakings have failed to act on the irregularities /shortcomings pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in over 450 Audit Paragraphs featuring in the reports for the years 2000-01 to 2015-16.
The non-serious approach in this regard is notwithstanding the fact that General Administration and Finance Departments have repeatedly impressed upon the Administrative Secretaries of all the departments to ensure timely submission of Action Taken Notes (ATNs) to the Accountant General so as to achieve the objective behind the detailed exercise being conducted by the supreme audit institution of the country on annual basis.
The non-responsive attitude of the Government departments and Public Sector Undertakings was brought to the notice of Chief Secretary by the Accountant General (Audit) vide Communiqué No. Rep/2-5/2018-19-415 dated 08-01-2019 and on the instructions of Chief Secretary the General Administration Department today passed directions to all the concerned departments for prompt action.
Vide Circular No.PAC/Misc/570/97/118 dated June 9, 1997, the Finance Department had directed all the departments of the State Government to intimate to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Committee of Public Undertakings the action taken or proposed to be taken by them on the paragraphs featuring in the reports of the CAG irrespective of the fact whether these are taken by the committees for discussion or not.
The instructions included furnishing of suo-moto Action Taken Notes (ATNs) by the administrative departments vetted by audit to these committees on all the Audit Paragraphs included in the audit reports within three months of their presentation in the State Legislature.
The Action Taken Notes on the recommendations made by the PAC and Committee on Public Undertakings on Audit Paragraphs discussed by them and vetted by audit were to be furnished within six months of the making of such recommendations.
These instructions were reiterated by the General Administration Department vide Circular No.37 dated July 26, 2017 after EXCELSIOR carried out series of news-items highlighting the casual approach of the Government departments and PSUs towards the findings of the supreme audit institution of the country and recommendations of the House Committees.
As there is no significant improvement in the responsiveness of the departments and PSUs, the Accountant General (Audit) Sushil Kumar Thakur has written to the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam seeking his intervention for speedy follow-up action on the Audit Paragraphs by the departments and PSUs.
As per the communication of the Accountant General (Audit), out of 682 Audit Paragraphs featuring in the reports of CAG of India for the year 2000-01 to 2015-16, only 329 Audit Paragraphs were discussed by the Public Accounts Committee and Committee on Public Undertakings as on September 2018.
“Of these, the committees could make their recommendations in respect of 306 Audit Paragraphs. However, there are 244 suo-moto Action Taken Notes (ATNs) and 228 Action Taken Notes on the recommendations of the committees were outstanding from the Administrative Departments as on September 2018”, read the communication of Accountant General (Audit).
These figures clearly reveal that repeated instructions of the Finance and General Administration Departments are not being taken seriously by the Government departments and PSUs.
Taking serious note of the prevailing situation, the Commissioner Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department Hilal Ahmad on the directions of the Chief Secretary, has once again impressed upon the Administrative Secretaries to take immediate measures and have Action Taken Notes on the Audit Paragraphs featuring in the Audit Reports for the period 2000-01 to 2015-16 furnished to the Accountant General (Audit) without any further delay.
As per the details furnished by the Accountant General (Audit) to the Chief Secretary, 50 Action Taken Notes are pending on the recommendations made by the Committee on Public Undertakings in respect of discussed Audit Paragraphs, 10 suo-moto Action Taken Notes are pending in respect of Audit Paragraphs pertaining to PSUs featuring in the CAG Audit Reports, 178 Action Taken Notes pending on the recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee in respect of discussed Audit Paragraphs and 234 suo-moto Action Taken Notes are pending in respect of the paragraphs featuring in the civil chapters of the Audit Reports.
Now, it is to be seen what results the latest directive of the General Administration Department yield as till date similar directions have failed to bring significant improvement in the responsiveness of the executive.