KHADC to appoint CA to probe irregularities
SHILLONG, June 21: Facing relentless pressure over gross financial irregularities and missing accounts of expenditure and cornered by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Directorate of Local Fund Audit (DLFA), the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has decided to appoint a chartered accountant (CA) who will probe the irregularities in the council’s financial accounts.
Disclosing this to reporters after the KHADC executive committee meeting on Tuesday, Chief Executive Member Titosstarwell Chyne said the CA will also guide the accounts staff or head of departments on how to maintain accounts, receipts and cashbooks.
According to him, the CA will submit his report on the irregularities, including the council’s failure to prepare its accounts, on time.
Chyne said the executive committee decided to have an internal audit every quarter to ensure that the accounts are properly maintained. No decision, however, has been made on the timeline to be given to the CA to submit the probe report.
“We will need to ask the CA how much time he/she would require. But we will insist that it is done at the earliest,” Chyne said.
He clarified that the Accountant General (AG) prepared its report on the KHADC accounts only for the year ending March 31, 2013.
“After this, the AG has not prepared the report even though it completed the audit of accounts of the council till 2018,” he said, adding the council discussed the AG’s various observations.
On the observation as regards the council’s assets, he said the EM in-charge of Council Assets, Teibor Pathaw has already constituted a committee to maintain and prepare the records of assets.
Further, Chyne said the council decided that the MDCs will first need to submit the utilisation certificates (UCs) and only then, the funds of the discretionary grants would be released to them. “We are compelled to take this decision as in the past, the MDCs never submitted the UCs after availing of the funds. The non-submission of UCs creates a huge problem while preparing the accounts,” the CEM added. It may be recalled that the CAG had trained its gun on the three autonomous district council for not preparing accounts and maintain records of expenditure and had written a letter to Governor Satya Pal Malik on June 1, praying for his intervention.
In its letter, the CAG had revealed that the deficiencies were communicated to Chief Secretary RV Suchiang on March 17, 2022, the chief executive members of the respective Councils on March 23, 2022 and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on March 30, but no action was taken by any of the authorities.
Even the DLFA had detected gross anomalies in the implementation of centrally sponsored schemes under the Special Assistance Grant (SAG) by both the GHADC and JHADC.
It had compiled a report on its findings and submitted it to the District Council Affairs department which wrote to both the district councils in February seeking their response on the findings but is yet to elicit a response from either of the councils.