Public-private partnerships may come under CAG purview

In a move that may indirectly bring private companies under the scrutiny of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the statutory body has decided to bring five new sectors including public-private partnerships (PPP) into its ambit. The other four sectors are environment and climate change, e-governance, social audit and regulatory bodies.

In its ongoing biennial meeting, the CAG office will also examine the nature of reforms and re-engineering of audit processes, methodologies and approaches to support its intended role. The statutory body feels that in today’s liberalized and globalize environment, the increasing varieties of organizational forms have raised serious challenges for the audit process and methodology. According to a CAG report, Rs. 1,50,000 crore has been allocated to various central government-funded schemes.

Under the current procedure, the statutory body is not able to capture the amount in transit or the actual sum utilized. At any point of time there is an estimated float of Rs 10,000 crore. “This has been the issue with many national schemes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA) and National Rural Health Management (NRHM).

We found loopholes within these two schemes and informed the government. We’re currently working on a system which can sort out government accounts where multi-layered agencies like non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working,” said deputy CAG, Bharti Prasad, on the eve of the 24th Accountants General conference. Plans are on to enhance the role of state CAGs and further integration process between them and the CAG.