UT Deptts trivialising inspection, audit reports

Hardly is there any department /office/PSU etc of the UT Government which has been normally and at average levels been found working in relation to and as per set rules, procedures and directions etc by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. We have been duly voicing our concern with intent to have a system in place in each department where audits and inspections were given top priority especially when it comes to setting irregularities as pointed out in Audit Reports , right. Whether regular meetings of audit committees are held to take stock of all aspects of inspections and audits so as to precisely come to know about the levels of progress achieved, on this ground too the audits have found a total casual approach adopted as an accepted practice. Not only that, numerous ”sensitive” audit paragraphs have, for years together remained unattended , perhaps, treating those paragraphs as optional to be attended to or not even being unmindful of the consequences as those could carry some hidden reference to a scam or a fraud having taken place. Even a bird’s eye view in respect of the overall post audit position is a revealing disappointing scenario of 927 audit/ inspection reports involving Rs.2266 remaining unattended and not rectified/set right. Why should matters regarding audit and inspections be taken so much casually involving hundreds of crore of Rupees and , therefore, why proper responsibility and accountability should not be fixed, is a moot question.
That, not only the CAG should be viewing the scenario quite seriously but advising the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that regular meetings of the audit committees took place, denotes the extent of an air of utter dispensability existing so far as the most critical and extremely important audits and inspections are concerned that primarily weigh the extent of correctness and adherence to the set rules, regulations, procedures , code book manuals, exercising of discretionary powers as delegated by the competent authorities and last but not least, whether expenditures and other money matters were handled absolutely honestly, discreetly and in a transparent way .
In fact, audits and inspections otherwise conducted at frequent intervals by the Principal Accountant General (Audit) Jammu and Kashmir, should on the contrary, be ”invited” regularly by the UT departments in order to ensue whether the system in a particular department worked strictly according to set procedures especially in critical and most vulnerable area of money matters so that timely corrective measures were taken. Such should be the working culture in the Government departments so that the golden principle of ”checks and balances” as provided for in the system got manifest in the findings of the audit reports which are not only sent by the auditing authority to the department concerned but to other authorities wielding power to exercise monetary and administrative control over the particular department for effective monitoring and ensuring rectification and corrective measures taken speedily. It looks ludicrous as also unacceptable on all counts that audits should be avoided and the audit notes, reports, particular paragraphs and the like should remain unattended despite the same pointed out repeatedly even by the highest auditing authority of the land.
Dealing with a few serious revelations made by the CAG in respect of inspection reports up to December 2019 related to a few departments show as many as 5006 paragraphs related to 927 irregularities involving Rs.2226 crore remained un-reconciled and hence outstanding. There is a long list where how much amount was at stake against how many IRs enumerated in how many paragraphs concerning how many departments which, in fact, remaining not set right till the filing of the CAG’s observations, is not only a matter of concern but indicative of how response to the crucial and sensitive audit and inspection system was abysmally low , disappointing and prone to vulnerabilities like commissioning of irregular financial transactions , frauds or even embezzlements. Not surprising , looking to the enormity of the problem, the CAG has been constrained to advise the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to devise a mechanism whereby regular holding of Audit Committee meetings take place, not less than three in a quarter, to monitor the progress of ”repairing”, correcting and taking other steps depending upon the severity of the irregularity.