CAG reports prompt stronger Meghalaya assembly audit cell

Last Updated: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 20:25

Shillong: Upset over the damning CAG
report which showed legislators in poor light, Meghalaya
Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope on Thursday said the secretariat?s
audit cell would be strengthened and commerce lessons
imparted to the legislators.
Claiming that the assembly secretariat?s audit
division was not performing efficiently and this caused the
embarrassing CAG report, Pyngrope said a senior accounts
officer has been brought on deputation to the accounts
section.



"We have also asked the state?s accountant general to
provide us with a senior audit officer," he said.



Putting the blame on his secretariat for the
anomalies, Pyngrope said, "had the audit wing of the
secretariat been efficient, such discrepancies would not have
happened. Before passing the bills, the same should have been
verified."



"In some cases, the audit branch did not reply to the
queries of the accountant general," he said.
Proposing to hold an interface between legislature and
audit officials, he said audit is an integral part of the
legislature.
"The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Committee on
Public Undertakings and Committee on Estimates are the
financial panels of any assembly. For them to function in an
effective manner and take care of the CAG findings and
observations, they should have adequate audit knowledge," he
said.



Any MLA who is a member of such committee and having
no prior knowledge about its functioning, should be trained
for it, the speaker observed.



"Such an interface will help them understand their
functioning better and also aid the effective functioning of
the legislature. The MLAs will understand the audit reports
better and the importance of the CAG," Pyngrope said.



This year’s CAG report had stated that items worth
several lakhs were missing from the speaker’s official
residence when Pyngrope’s predecessor MM Danggo had vacated it
in 2008. The report had also said that a fictitious bill of Rs
11.81 lakh was claimed even though no such construction took
place at the speaker’s residence.



Last year’s CAG report had alleged that 16 Meghalaya
legislators faked travelling allowance bills and claimed Rs
1.67 crore during one of their trips to Paris, Rome and
Amsterdam in 2006.



The proposed interface would be held soon for which
the Comptroller and Auditor General of India would be invited,
the speaker said.



PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 20:25

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