- January 14, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Social Audit of MGNREGA:
- Social Audit is the examination and assessment of a programme/scheme conducted with the active involvement of people and comparing official records with actual ground realities. Social Audit is a powerful tool for social transformation, community participation and government accountability.
- Section 17 of the MGNREGA has mandated social audit of all Works executed under the MGNREGA. Social Audit is different from Financial Audit.
- Financial audits involve inspecting and assessing documents related to financial transactions in an organization to provide a true picture of its profits, losses and financial stability.
- Social audits focus on the performance of a programme in fulfilling its intended social objectives and ethical vision through consultation with a range of stakeholders including social programme beneficiaries, community members, government officials and verifying the information obtained with documents and physical evidence.
- Thus, social audits examine and assess the social impact of specific programmes and policies.
- The process of Social Audit combines people’s participation and monitoring with the requirements of the audit discipline. It is necessary to promote people’s participation in the audit along with support provided by an independent social audit organization that facilitates the process.
- The Social Audit process is a factfinding process. The work of the Auditor is to investigate by cross-verifying facts and details in the records from the workers and cross- verifying works at site. The “Auditors” must not view themselves as “Prosecutors”.
Audit of Scheme Rules, 2011:
- The Audit of Scheme Rules, 2011 were prepared by MoRD in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
- These rules are also called the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Audit of Schemes Rules, 2011.
- These rules define the process of social audit and responsibilities of the Social Audit Unit (SAU), state government and the field functionaries of MGNREGA, to be followed across the country.
- These rules also emphasize the role of the SAU, its pre-requisites, the process of social audit and the responsibilities of designated officials.
Steps of Social Audit:
Social Audit Calendar: The Social Audit Unit (SAU) prepares the social audit calendar for the Gram Panchayat in the State.
Selection of Village Resource Persons (VRPs): The VRPs are identified by the Social Audit Unit in each state. The VRPs should be drawn from the following groups:
- Members of SHGs (preferably women members)
- Worked under MGNREGA or have family members who have worked under the MGNREGA
- Preferably women or persons belonging to the SC, ST, Notified Tribes, De-Notified Tribes/other marginalised groups
- Youth from Rural Groups, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Bharat Nirman Volunteers
- Training of VRPs: The identified VRPs will attend the training programme on key aspects of MGNREGA, social accountability and social audit.
- Consolidation of records: The Block Office will provide all the required documents and the social audit team will cross check and verify these documents. They will ensure that all the records against the total expenditure are made available.
Verification: The social audit team will cross verify the records with the beneficiaries and worksite as follows:
They will verify the documents received from the Programme Officer and the Gram Panchayat.
Through door-to-door verification, they will meet all the workers who have worked under MGNREGA during the financial year. They will check if the full wages have been paid to the workers.
They will visit all the worksites, take the measurements and check the quality of work. They will conduct 100% verification of all the executed work.
Report Preparation: The social audit team collates all the findings and evidences from the verification stage and prepares an issue-wise social audit report for the Gram Sabha.
Social Audit Gram Sabha: After the report preparation, the next step in social audit is to conduct a Social Audit Gram Sabha. The social audit team presents the findings from the verification stage to the people in the presence of an independent observer. The implementing agency needs to respond to the issues raised in front of the Gram Sabha.
Public Hearing: The purpose of the public hearing is to ensure that the orders are issued on a public platform and actions are taken on the social audit findings. The officials from the implementing agencies need to be present and respond to the social audit findings, as well as the queries raised by people.
Village Resource Persons: The Village resource persons serve as the most important link in the chain of the social audit process. They are the ones who perform the role of providing assistance to the community members enabling them to conduct a social audit of their Gram Panchayat.
The following are the key functions of the VRPs during a social audit:
- Verify whether MGNREGA wage seekers received all their rightful entitlements.
- Verify whether assets created under MGNREGA were built as per the norms recorded.
- Assess who is drawing benefits from the works created under MGNREGA and whether works were created keeping in mind the local development requirements of the GP.
- Verify whether processes of implementation of MGNREGA in the GP were as per the provisions of the Act and its guidelines.
- Ensure proactive disclosure of all information pertaining to MGNREGA to the residents of the GP in a manner that is easily understandable.