Auditors should help improve delivery systems of social schemes

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New Delhi, Oct 14 (UNI) President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil today told auditors of government systems and accounts that effective audit by them could help plug the loopholes in the delivery systems relating to social sector programmes launched by the State.

Inaugurating the XXIVth Accountants General Conference here, Ms Patil said auditors should partner the government and pay specific heed to social sector programmes to ensure that the objectives of social justice and equity are met.

She said that issues relating to gender disparity, access to health care and quality education, rural development, employment and social security must be highlighted in audit reports.

Observing that one of the biggest challenges is the leakages in the delivery system, the President said that effective audit and monitoring can curb such tendencies.

The inaugural function was also addressed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai and Chairman of the Committee on Public Undertakings Rup Chand Pal, Mr Rai said the objective of this year's conference of Accountants General is to focus on efficacy and efficiency in audit and accounts thereby strengthening good governance, transparency and accountability.

Observing that the public audit is not a one-time exercise but a continuing process, the CAG said that auditors are able to provide useful inputs through regular insight and oversight by undertaking audit reviews.

The CAG said that efficient delivery of public services, proper management and control of public resources, high level of accountability and transparency are hallmarks of good governance in a democratic society.

Mr Rai said in recent years, Government has undertaken a number of major initiatives intended to significantly improve the quality of delivery of public services. There have also been fast paced developments in government's expenditure pattern. There was greater devolution of resources directly to the societies, NGOs and other implementing agencies at State, district, block and village levels for implementing various major developmental programmes and schemes.

Mr Rai said economic liberalisation in its wake has shifted the role of the government from being a monopolistic player in certain sectors to that of a catalyst and monitoring agent.

He said the role of the monitoring agent was being carried out through regulators in various sectors of the economy. "Each such initiative of Government must have concomitant response by Audit", Mr Rai added.

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