Why shying away from robust policy for audit?

The huge number of those projects which were either abandoned or were incomplete or languishing for various reasons were put on life saving support under “Languishing Funding Scheme,” all in the interests of public welfare and utility. It is appreciable that over 1700 such projects are targeted to be completed by the end of the current year. The other part of the story, very important one, is about a proper auditing of these projects under a well framed robust policy which fell in the domain of the Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation Limited, to structure and shape. How can the members on the committee of bureaucrats not feel seriously inclined to initiate the audit process and shed away the dilly- dallying approach in the issue? In fact, in addition to the most critical financial audit, the robust policy should deal with the process, product and system audits too. And how could any delay or deferment be put up with, now that the projects are provided the much needed financial oxygen to make them run smoothly and get completed by the end of 2019.
While dwelling upon the unspecified causes of the snail’s pace of work on many projects and where there were specific apprehensions of irregularities in conducting of financial and quality matters associated therewith, ‘Excelsior’ has on many occasions suggested, through these columns, that not only periodic audits but concurrent audits should become a working culture of running projects. It was, as such, a matter of satisfaction that the Board of Directors of Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructural Finance Corporation Limited in June 2019 had consented upon the need of having concurrent audit of the projects approved under Languishing Funding Scheme (LFS) and it was deliberated upon to form a roadmap or a robust policy keeping in view the accepted best practices in vogue.
Not only about the concurrent audit but decision to the effect of framing of a State Level Quality Monitoring Committee too was taken. Quality audit, it may be reiterated is very important and unfortunately much attention is not given by the State Government in ensuring that the project activities were congruent to the set policies, procedures and processes of the entire organisation of the project. We fail to understand as to how in the absence of such an arrangement, conformance or non conformance to requirements of the system could be assessed. Is the entire job, the critical one, left to the whims of the executioners of the project to “arrange” for formality purposes such certificates and reports? The speed with which the decision process mechanism is in practice in the state can be gauged by the fact that not to speak of framing policy of audit, the Committee has not met even once so far or having done anything to study the best possible practices in vogue to help them for framing the requisite policy.
Let the progress of preparation of different types of manuals connected with the projects constructions and works be analysed which are fundamental to any project, small or big. On perusal of the gathered inputs, it is observed that no Works Manual, Vigilance Manual, Budget Manual, and even Human Resources Manual are prepared so far which otherwise are imperative to the functioning of the JKIDFCL. It is expected that underlining the importance of robust policy for audit of the projects especially in the light of their expected completion by the end of this year, necessary steps would now be taken by the designated committee of bureaucrats.