KATHMANDU, August 21: The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has said most of the government offices lack accountability while delivering their services.
The 58th annual report that the OAG submitted to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Friday shows that the government bodies have been found creating various pseudo funds through off-budgetary headings, which are out of inspection and monitoring control of the parliamentary bodies, just to conduct rampant expenses. Also, the offices have been breaching the threshold while carrying out cash transfers under the non-budgetary headings.
With the irregularities in place, the arrear of the government offices reached Rs 664.44 billion in the fiscal year 2019/20, shows the report. It included the arrear amounts worth Rs 44.39 billion of federal government and Rs 12.66 billion of provinces and Rs 40.83 billion of the local governments.
There has been a massive wrong practice of creating grant amounts via budget transfer under the headings for which no ceiling is applicable. “There is a need for making transparent the process of accepting foreign assistance in order to mobilize the money received through budgetary system and reserve funds,” reads the report of the OAG, which further stressed not implementing the foreign assistance that is being provided on ‘conditions.’
The OAG’s annual report is an assessment of the anatomy of the government working mechanism, which the constitutional organ has brought forth with a delay of about four months this year. Last year too, showing the causes of impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAG delayed publishing the report.
Through the audit of the transactions of government entities, local bodies and other agencies with the government investment, the OAG report identifies and exposes irregularities as well as weaknesses in complying with the existing laws, internal control arrangements and other standards. The report also provides recommendations to help in maintaining fiscal discipline in public administration.
The OAG report shows that the monetary support of NGOs and INGOs is mostly spent in the name of conducting seminars and workshops and lacks effective mobilization in the desired areas. It recommends to the government to carry out proper study of the proposed projects before they are implementing them.
To increase the use of information technology in audit systems and reporting by the government offices, strengthening of the internal audit system and control, reduction in the exorbitant administrative costs including the meeting allowances and enforcement of separate standards in service deliveries by the government offices are among the recommendations of the OAG.