CAG for social audits of NGOs, rural bodies

By Neeraj Chauhan

The Times of India

Comptroller and auditor general Shashi Kant Sharma has instructed all auditors general in states to institutionalize social audits and collect district level data on various social sector schemes. He has also asked them to synergize the social audits with the CAG’s performance audit on government schemes which incur an expenditure of lakhs of crores every year.

These social audits would primarily be on implementing agencies — NGOs and panchayat-level bodies — which are directly funded by the Centre but are not subject to checks by the government auditor.

“In an internal circular issued recently, the CAG has issued directions to all its auditors general (AGs) in states asking them to support institutionalization of social audits, collect information on planning, quality assurance and other aspects,” a source said.

Social audit involves auditing of various schemes by non-governmental organizations and local bodies, other than the government auditor. Conceptually, it goes beyond the realm of traditional financial audit as it focuses on issues such as awareness, grievance redress and feedback about the programmes.

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