THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The Legislature Panel on Papers to be tabled has come down heavily on the Local Fund Audit (LFA) Department for its lapses in auditing universities promptly and filing reports with the Assembly.
In the guidelines issued to implement the recommendations of Panel’s sixth report, it was observed that LFA had made lapses by failing to audit the accounts of the universities and issue certificates to them in time.
The universities depend on funds from the UGC, state and central governments. As the varsities take assistance from the state government they are bound to table the annual reports and audit reports in time. The LFA, constituted as per the Constitution and under the Act passed by the state government has the mandate to examine and audit the accounts of universities. The Panel report states that varsities should have prepared the audit report based on Kerala LFA Act, 1994. The absence of a unified law to table the reports leads to delay in filing the reports.
The Panel observed that all universities in the state which are local authorities as per Section 3(1) of the LFA Act are bound to comply with the provisions of the Act.
It is the duty of the LFA to complete the auditing and issue certificates within six months of submission of the accounts as per Section 9 (1),((2),9(3) and Section 10 of the LFA Act. Any lapse in this regard would attract penal action as per Kerala Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules.
The panel also came down heavily against the Higher Education Department for its failure in examining whether the universities had been utilising the funds properly and ensuring that the reports are filed promptly with the Assembly.
The Panel has brought out guidelines which include the direction to amend the Universities Act, to ensure the timely tabling of the audit reports, time-bound completion of computerisation of the University accounts, steps to ensure that filing of audited accounts of the fund granted to the varsities by the government from its consolidated fund and direction to the administrative departments to ensure the filing of the annual reports and audit reports with the House.
It has also asked to maintain a separate register to record the details of annul reports and audit reports.