Even as the Congress-led UPA Government is battling the Opposition on the CAG findings regarding corruption and irregularities, the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) has directed the various ministries and departments to take note of the national auditor’s observation and include the details of the follow-up action taken in their annual report.
The CAG reports on the 2G scam and Coalgate had exposed the supervisory lapses committed by the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) as well as the nepotism and the serious irregularities involved in implementing the projects, which resulted in an unprecedented loss to the national exchequer.
Interestingly, the CAG was the whistle-blower in both the instances of crony capitalism.
Despite the Congress’ tirade against the CAG, the DARPG suggested “it would be a good practice for all the departments and ministries to publish in their annual reports the follow-up action taken, based on the CAG findings in the last two years.”
The CAG, while picking holes in the various government projects, had recommended a complete overhaul of the existing procedures.
The background note circulated by the DARPG on Civil Services Day also opined that the CAG reports were not fully utilised to effect constructive policy changes.
Following the CAG report on the coal block allocation, it was alleged that the chief auditor had added a few extra zeros to politicise the issue. Although the CAG is mandated to monitor and ensure the accountability of the various ministries and departments, a section in the government wanted to whittle down its role.
However, the DARPG thinks that the ministries should also conduct an external audit of their departments, which may add more value to the CAG report while fixing the glitches in the various projects. It said such practices are “more likely to provide fresh leads for further investigation or improvement.” The CAG’s recent report on the Centre’s flagship ‘MNREGA’ punctured the tall claims made by the authorities and exposed the serious irregularities in the implementation of the approved works. Besides, it brought out the serious lapses made by the officials in maintaining the records.