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AG�s audit findings inconclusive

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Oct 5 � Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently announced the Government's decision to hand over probe of financial irregularities of eight departments of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council on the basis of a special audit by the office of the Accountant General (AG), the audit was carried out only for a specific period and in most cases, the findings were not conclusive as relevant records were not available.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that it was for the first time a special audit or the audit of the transactions was carried out in NC Hills Autonomous Council, but in most cases the findings were not conclusive. Sources revealed that the Government asked the office of the AG to carry out the special audit only for a specific period and in most parts of the specified tenure, the council was ruled by the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance. Sources pointed out that the Government asked the AG to carry out audit of the transactions only from 2007 to June 9 this year and even during the period, large-scale irregularities came to light. It is now clear that if the Government orders a CBI probe into financial irregularities of eight departments on the basis of the AG report, the probe would cover only a limited period.

Sources revealed that the AG office carried out test checks of eight departments after receiving the State Government's request for a special audit and the AG, in its report, informed the Government that the findings were not conclusive because of the fact that relevant documents were not available. Sources said that in some cases, the AG found that the records were not maintained in most of the cases and in some instances, even when the records were maintained, those were not kept properly making it impossible to trace relevant documents.

Involvement of different agencies also created a major problem in auditing the transactions. Sources said that first the police started an investigation in NC Hills Autonomous Council, which was followed by investigation by Justice Manisana Singh Commission, the CID of the Assam Police etc., and now agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are investigating different cases of financial dealings of the Council. Because of involvement of different agencies, it was almost impossible to carry out proper audit of the transactions as all the agencies reportedly seized documents and it was very easy for the Council to claim that the documents sought for during the audit were seized by other agencies.

Sources revealed that in its draft report submitted to the Government, the AG found major financial irregularities and it was impossible to trace out the flow of funds right from the consolidated funds to the contractors on many occasions because of lack of records. Sources said that no financial rule was followed by the Council and instructions to release funds were issued on blank papers and receipts were not kept against the payments.

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AG�s audit findings inconclusive

GUWAHATI, Oct 5 � Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently announced the Government's decision to hand over probe of financial irregularities of eight departments of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council on the basis of a special audit by the office of the Accountant General (AG), the audit was carried out only for a specific period and in most cases, the findings were not conclusive as relevant records were not available.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that it was for the first time a special audit or the audit of the transactions was carried out in NC Hills Autonomous Council, but in most cases the findings were not conclusive. Sources revealed that the Government asked the office of the AG to carry out the special audit only for a specific period and in most parts of the specified tenure, the council was ruled by the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance. Sources pointed out that the Government asked the AG to carry out audit of the transactions only from 2007 to June 9 this year and even during the period, large-scale irregularities came to light. It is now clear that if the Government orders a CBI probe into financial irregularities of eight departments on the basis of the AG report, the probe would cover only a limited period.

Sources revealed that the AG office carried out test checks of eight departments after receiving the State Government's request for a special audit and the AG, in its report, informed the Government that the findings were not conclusive because of the fact that relevant documents were not available. Sources said that in some cases, the AG found that the records were not maintained in most of the cases and in some instances, even when the records were maintained, those were not kept properly making it impossible to trace relevant documents.

Involvement of different agencies also created a major problem in auditing the transactions. Sources said that first the police started an investigation in NC Hills Autonomous Council, which was followed by investigation by Justice Manisana Singh Commission, the CID of the Assam Police etc., and now agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are investigating different cases of financial dealings of the Council. Because of involvement of different agencies, it was almost impossible to carry out proper audit of the transactions as all the agencies reportedly seized documents and it was very easy for the Council to claim that the documents sought for during the audit were seized by other agencies.

Sources revealed that in its draft report submitted to the Government, the AG found major financial irregularities and it was impossible to trace out the flow of funds right from the consolidated funds to the contractors on many occasions because of lack of records. Sources said that no financial rule was followed by the Council and instructions to release funds were issued on blank papers and receipts were not kept against the payments.