The Department of Rural Development has developed a very strong and robust accountability frame work for all its programmes. Building on the principle of eligibility through Socio Economic Census 2011, and accountability through the multi-pronged framework of Social Audit, Financial Audit, Geo-tagging and use of IT-DBT, the programmes of DoRD have made significant progress in institutionalizing a transparent framework with zero tolerance for corruption.
Besides all transaction based MIS in the public domain that provides geo-tagged photos and real time information, efforts have been made to develop citizen centric apps like Gram Samvad, Meri Sadak, Awaas App etc. to improve the accountability to the people. The Department already had a system of National Level Monitoring Institutions that visit 600 districts of the country in two rounds each year and do a randomly selected sample verification of the work in the field. Besides this, a range of Research and Evaluation studies have been taken up on all flagship programmes. The National Evaluation of DAY-NRLM by IRMA, of MGNREGS Natural Resource Management initiatives by Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi and of PMGSY by IIM Ahmedabad have been completed and are available on website of the Ministry. NIPFP has just concluded the first part of the study of the PMAY(G) and same would be on the public website very shortly. Besides this, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayti Raj has commissioned a range of studies on MGNREGS whose findings will also be in the public domain very soon.
The Department has set up an Advisory Group on Internal Audit to suggest system for continuous improvement in implementation of schemes and better compliance. The Group has prepared a framework for launching a certificate programme for internal auditors. The curriculum has been developed for the certificate programme and very soon National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayti Raj in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors of India will roll out the certificate programme for retired and serving Accounts Officers and other Government Servants. We hope to create a community Cadre of 5000 certified Internal Auditors in 2018-19.
Likewise for social audit, with the guidance of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India , the auditing standard of social audit have been notified for the first time and appropriate certificate programmes have been developed by NIRD&PR in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, for District, Block and Village Level Resource Persons. A Policy decision was taken to have women Self Help Group members as the Social Auditors after formal certificate programme for them. We hope to build a community Cadre of 50,000 Social Auditors drawn from women SHGs in 2018-19. This will ensure large scale Social Audit of rural development initiatives across Departments.
Under DAY-NRLM a data base of nearly 4.7 crores members of Self Help Groups are placed in the public domain. Further, disaggregated block level reports on key performance indicators of the Mission are also available.
In April 2017 the DAY-NRLM has launched a transaction-based MIS to capture SHG member level transactions. The system has already been rolled out in 1400 Blocks across 25 States. This MIS which is also in public domain enables the project management as well as community members to monitor the performance and financial position of SHGs and their federations on a real time basis".
An Advisory Group on Information Technology has also been set up to further strengthen Cyber Security and undertake forensic audit of field units to ensure compliance to law, security and to maintain transparency in all the IT based payment system.
To assess the progress of programmes in States, the Department has introduced a system of Common Review Mission (CRM). Eight States are visited by total 32 independent professionals as part of the CRM each year. The team visits two districts in each State and gives the Ministry its feedback on how our programmes are doing at the field level. Three CRMs have been undertaken so far over the last three years and their findings have provided a road map for further improving the Accountability Framework of Rural Development programmes.
The Department of Rural Development has also set up a small Internal Audit Wing which undertakes timely field verification of financial system from time to time and provides insights into the quality of financial management so that corrective action can be taken on time. One portal namely GRIP for online processing and analysis of internal audit has been developed and it is being used in internal audit of MGNREGA and PMAY(Gramin).
With all the above mentioned systems in place, Rural Development Programmes now have a very strong robust accountability framework in partnership with the States. This has facilitated the adoption of transparent system of record keeping, public information and citizen grievance redressal system. DoRD hopes to further deepen these processes by conducting programmes at Gram Panchayat level from time to time with periodic public updation of display records in Gram Panchayat offices. Reforms to simplify Record Registers, Community Information Boards, use of logo with financial details etc. is being relentlessly pursued to further strengthen the accountability from time to time. Over 2.43 crore MGNREGS assets and/all PMAY Gramin homes at different stages of construction are all geo-tagged and available on the public website. This greatly enhances transparency and accountability.
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