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Vice President Ansari for CAG audit of NGOs, societies, trusts

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari strongly favours bringing NGOs, autonomous organisations, societies and trusts within the purview of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to ensure better “transparency and accountability” in the spending of public funds

Vice President M Hamid Ansari, on May 18, 2010, remarked that any organisation that comes under the definition of ‘public authority’, under the Right to Information Act, should be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). 

Inaugurating the diamond jubilee celebrations of the National Academy of Audit and Accounts (NAAA) in Himachal Pradesh, he said the “existing provisions of the 1971 Act are restrictive regarding audit of public funds spent by NGOs, societies and trusts, etc, but, in my opinion, all organisations under the definition of public authority should be subject to audit by CAG”. 

Asserting that the efficacy of public audit premised on effective follow-up action, he expressed concern that out of over 9,000 audit paragraphs included in audit reports during 1994 and 2008, and submitted to Parliament, 3,000 paragraphs had not even received a first response from ministers, despite government’s agreement to a four-month timeframe to submit an action report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). 

Another pertinent issue was the lack of statutory authority vested in CAG to summon officials and seek evidence on oath, undertake follow-up on an audit report, fix responsibility on officials who may have caused loss to the state exchequer, or recommend disciplinary action according to the conduct rules or criminal prosecution, he said. 

Source: The Indian Express, May 19, 2010
              http://news.outlookindia.com, May 2010