EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP SUBMITS REPORT FOR IMPROVEMENT AND STRENGTHENING OF INTERNAL AUDIT SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES
New Delhi. An Expert Advisory Group (EAG) consisting of retired experts from administration, accounts and audit was constituted by the Ministry of Rural Development for recommending measures aimed at expanding and deepening the application of the internal audit function across programmes at all levels of implementation. The EAG has submitted its report to Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines.
On this occasion Chief Controller of Accounts (CCA), Ministry of Rural development informed that the Internal Audit Wing of ministry with its limited recourses has completed 143 internal audits till February this year with the help of IT portal unique to this Ministry named as GRIP.
The Expert Group has given a road map for establishing the internal audit function as an instrument for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of MoRD schemes.It suggests measures for strengthening internal audit as an instrument of management control across programmes up to grassroots level.
The report includes recommendations such as revision of the existing Internal Audit Manual to cover compliance and scheme audit andmanual to serve as a framework for IA at all levels of implementation,preparation of risk registers and risk matrix for all major programmes,comprehensive Policy for Internal Audit for the Ministry, Programme-specific guidelines for internal audit,Long-term Audit Plan for a five year period andAnnual Audit Plans, State Departments of Rural Development to prepare their respective IA plans,Funds to be earmarked within each programme for conduct of IA ,establishing a separate office of CCA-IAto prepare a composite HR Deployment and capacity Development Plan for Ministry and states based on assessment of workload, projection of human resource requirement. States to make their own assessment of HR requirement,Modern IT tools and data analytics be used for collation and analysis of information gathered from different oversight mechanisms.
Hon’ble Minister Shri Tomar said that ‘introspection’ has been a culture in Indian society. When there is an introspection there are less chances of mistakes, He further added that if you can identify the risk areas and can keep a watch on them, chances of mistakes will be nil.He stated that states need handholding in the implementation of Internal Audit. It is an era of transparency and every government will have to work for it. Internal Audit will be a tool to identify the risk areas of leakages and to plug these loopholes.
Hon’ble Minister of State, Rural Development Shri Ram Kripal Yadav stated that the committee has given very important suggestion to improve the transparency and accountability. He further stressed that Ministry of Rural Development is the first Ministry in the Government of India which has taken the initiative to strengthen the Internal Audit in a very systematic manner.
The Secretary, Rural Development, Shri Amarjeet Sinha appreciated the efforts made by the EAG and assured that this citizen centric initiative will be taken forward for better implementation and management of rural development schemes.