Making every citizen an auditor

A good auditor is a good listener” said President Ram Nath Kovind during his recent speech at the 29th Accountants General Conference. “You will not only see the accounts in their books, but also listen to their accounts,” he said. It is only when this conception is accepted that audits will return to their democratic roots, and social audits in India will get the space and attention they deserve in becoming an integral and robust part of the formal audit process.Social audits show how people’s participation in the planning, execution and monitoring of public programmes leads to better outcomes. They have strengthened the role of the gram sabha. Social audits were first mandated by law in 2005 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Subsequently, Parliament, the Supreme Court and many Central ministries mandated them in other areas as well. As efforts are being made to extend social audits to new areas, it is important to look at how well they are actually implemented based on parameters specified in the auditing standards jointly pioneered by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Ministry of Rural Development. The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj recently conducted a study comparing ground realities with the specified standards, and identified key issues that need to be addressed.

Source :
https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/making-every-citizen-an-auditor/article25768137.ece

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