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Job audit exposes laggard officials
September, 11th 2009

A number of state departments that had carried out projects under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) did not co-operate during the evaluation exercise at the block and district level.

Besides, records of some departments were incomplete and not properly maintained.

These facts came to the fore today during evaluation by the state social audit team for eight districts Chatra, Giridih, Koderma, Sahebganj, Godda, Simdega, Garhwa and Latehar. With todays meeting, the social audit assessment process that began in mid-July came to an end.

The state-level social audit was conducted by NREGS commissioner Sunil Kumar Barnwal and state adviser to the Supreme Court commissioner (right to food) Balram along with other officials and NGO representatives. It was found out that many departments did not make records available to the block and district-level teams.

Perturbed with the findings, the state team has decided to ask rural development secretary S.K. Satpathy to write to the secretaries of all departments so that the latter ask the officials concerned to co-operate with the NREGS social audit teams.

The district teams today complained that the align departments did not care to provide them records of NREGS works during evaluation, said a member of the state social audit team.

According to rules, apart from rural development, NREGS works can also be carried out by align departments such as forest, fishery and rural works. However, they need to keep records of the works and provide it at social audits.

Meanwhile, the team once again found the action-taken reports of several districts not very encouraging. It had rejected the reports of these districts on August 31.

Today, Barnwal rejected the report of Garhwa and directed the district administration to carry out the exercise again. However, I will send the report of Garhwa to the Centre, he said.

Barnwal added that in a majority of cases of irregularities in Latehar, Godda and Garhwa, the administration had lodged FIRs against officials responsible. But departmental proceedings have not been initiated, he added.

The only district where the action-taken reports were found to be good was Simdega. Barnwal will soon send the final report to the Centre.

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