CAG stresses need to strengthen audits of local bodies

GC Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Thursday said that the audits of local bodies need to be further strengthened given the huge public funds being spent across the country in this regard.

While delivering a farewell address at the two-day General Conference of Accountants which concluded here on Thursday, Mormo highlighted that the 15th Finance Committee had recommended a grant of 4.36 lakh crores to support various programs of duly constituted local governments for a period of five years. Between 2021 and 2026.

Mormo said there is a need to ensure that grants are used properly and that programs and plans are implemented effectively.

“Our audits of local bodies, therefore, need to check whether critical financial steps, as recommended by the commission, such as (1) setting up state finance committees (2) acting on their recommendations (3) reporting the actions taken to the The respective state legislatures (4) place the accounts of the local bodies in the public domain and (5) establish minimum rates of estate taxes, which shall be met.”

Local government authorities will also need to independently verify whether grants for basic social services, such as sanitation and meeting the goal free of open defecation, solid waste management, provision of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling, have been used effectively for the purposes , as recommended, Murmu added.

Murmu said the four topics the internal audit and accounting officer groups discussed at the two-day conference were, OIOS – Towards Transformation, Next Steps Towards Strengthening Local Bodies Auditing, Defining Socially Relevant Audit Processes, and Reporting on Sustainability of State Finances .

Highlighting some other issues, the CAG noted that ‘there is an urgent need to balance systemic oversight with micro-level oversight, in order to reach a satisfactory balance between overall assessment of system-level executive interventions and deterrence of deviant executive action. at the micro level.

CAG said that its main function is not only to check facts and figures, and prepare quality audit reports, but also to select relevant issues for priority audit. We must ensure that the work of parliamentary committees and our audit reports are as consistent and synchronized as possible. This is extremely important to ensure effective parliamentary oversight of the executive power.”