LG reports ‘gross violation’ and ‘inordinate delay’ in auditing accounts at universities under Delhi government by CAG

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Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has slammed a “gross breach of accounting procedures, financial mismanagement and undue delay” in the audit of the public education sector, under the Department of Education. higher and technical education headed by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

While he had a record recently in his capacity as Chancellor, for the audit of Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research University (DPSRU) accounts for five years between 2015-16 and 2020-21 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, the LG expressed serious concerns over the “undue delay” in conducting the audit of the university and requested the Vice-Chancellor to submit an explanation along with details of the officers responsible of the failure within 15 days.

A proposal to have the DPSRU accounts for 2015–16 audited by the CAG was approved by the then Lieutenant Governor in May 2019.

DPSRU moved the proposal under the provisions of Section 27 of the Universities Act and Section 20 of the CAG (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act 1971, instead of Section 19 (3) relevant and applicable of the CAG Act, it was said, which essentially delayed the audit.

CAG had also requested that the audit mission of four other universities – Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW), Delhi Technological University (DTU) and Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT) – also be transmitted under Article 19(3).

Officials said it had taken more than a year for the Delhi government to comply with the CAG’s advice and a proposal to do so under Section 19(3) was made in August 2022. But, they added, the file again reached the LG secretariat. of the Prime Minister without his signature, with an observation on the file by the co-secretary of the CM, saying “The Honorable CM has seen and approved”.

The LG’s office alleged that the CM did not want to take responsibility for the lapses in accounting and violation of CAG rules.

Saxena, who had recently requested a report on declining enrollment and rising absenteeism in Delhi’s public schools, expressed grave concern over the ‘unjustified and undue delays’ of more than five years in the audit accounts of universities under Delhi government by CAG.

LG’s office says that in what appears to be a gross subterfuge undertaken in an attempt to somehow evade an audit of accounts by the CAG, Delhi’s universities have been inexplicably playing the game for more than five years. ping-pong between departments simply for the sake of which section of the Universities Act and CAG Act 1971 will be applied to carry out the audit.

The Lieutenant Governor, who is also Chancellor of State Universities, has directed the Department of Training and Technical Education/Higher Education to take immediate action to ensure the auditing of accounts of all state universities in accordance with the statutes in force at CAG. He also ordered that in the future, the filing of audit accounts of all universities be done immediately when due, without any delay.

As chancellor, the LG also encountered serious and continuous procedural failings in part of Delhi’s state universities and took it very seriously, his office said. Whether it is non-auditing of the accounts within the deadlines, unanswered audit objections or the non-holding of the compulsory annual meetings of the “Court of Universities”, everything points to the non-transparency, the adhocism and disregard for responsibility, he added.

The LG Secretariat has also written to all Vice Chancellors to ensure that University Court meetings are held at least twice a year. The letter pointed out that university tribunals are vested with a statutory responsibility to review the general policies and programs of universities and to suggest measures for their improvement and development.

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