CAG pulls up J&K govt over lack of response to audit reports

The Comptroller and Auditor General on Monday slammed the Jammu and Kashmir government for its lack of response to the pendency of large number of inspection reports and observations on “serious financial irregularities”.

The CAG also called for revamping of administrative system for proper response to audit observations in a time-bound manner.

“There is large pendency of paragraphs (audit observations), serious financial irregularities and loss to the government even after being pointed out in the audit. It indicates lack of response of the government departments to the audit,” said a CAG report for the state finance ending March 31, 2014.

As per the CAG report based on the result of the test audit, 32,625 audit observations contain 8,518 inspection reports pertaining to the period between 1998 to 2014, are outstanding as on March 31, 2014.

The handbook of instructions by CAG suggests speedy settlement of audit observations and inspection reports by government departments to ensure remedial actions with the prescribed rules, procedures and accountability for deficiencies, irregularities and lapses, the report said.

The heads of offices and next higher authorities are required to comply with observations to rectify the defects promptly and report their compliance to the auditor general, it said, pointing out the lack of response from the government.

There are 29 departments and 39 autonomous bodies existing in Jammu and Kashmir state.

CAG further noted that the reasons for persistent savings of more than Rs one crore were not intimated to CAG (as on August 2014) and this indicated inadequate financial control in the state.

In nine cases, there has been a persistent saving of more than Rs one crore each year during the last five year period with the saving of Rs 683.73 cr in planning and development department, Rs 672.87 cr in housing and urban development department, Rs 244.38 cr in finance department and Rs 102.58 cr in labour, stationary and printing department in respective grants for the year 2013-14, the report said.

Regarding the direct transfer of funds to the state’s implementing agencies, the CAG report said that Union government directly transferred Rs 3200 crore to the various implementing agencies without routing through the state budget during 2013-14.

However, this amount remained outside the scope of annual accounts of the state government during the year, it said.

In the last three years, CAG audit reported several significant deficiencies in implementation of various programmes and activities as well as on the quality of internal controls in select departments which have negative impact on the success of programmes and functioning of the departments.

On the issue of non-submission of suo moto action taken notes, the CAG report said that it was noticed that out of 412 audit reports featuring in civil chapters of audit reports from 2000-01 to 2012-13, suo moto action taken notes in respect of 139 audit paragraphs had not been received up to March 13, 2014.

Similarly, recommendations of 140 audit paragraphs have been made to public accounts committee and action taken notes in connection with 113 paragraphs have not been received.

The report said that a total of 365 annual accounts of 32 bodies were awaited in audit as on March 31, 2014 over the issue of non-submission of annual accounts by autonomous bodies.

On the issue of performance report, it said replies in respect of five performance audits involving money to the tune of Rs 730 cr and audit paragraphs involving Rs 65 cr were not received. (Agencies)

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