Accounting regulator ICAI is opposed to the tendering process of selecting accountants for auditing state-run schemes and has taken up the issue with the Planning Commission and the CAG.
The ICAI wants the appointment to be done through fixing the fees district-wise and not through tender saying it may lead to compromise of audit work. The appointment of auditors for scanning government schemes and projects is proposed to be done through tendering process, wherein the applicant quoting the lowest fees would get the project.
However, according to the ICAI the appointment should rather be done through fixing the fees district-wise and not through tender as it may lead to compromise of audit work.
“We had taken up the issue with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Planning Commission. We have requested that the L1 (lowest bidding) factor in audit can kill the entire concept of the audit.”
“It is no good. We have requested them to fix the fees scheme wise to ensure that if at all bids are there, they should be technical rather than financial,” Amarjit Chopra, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) told PTI.
ICAI has suggested that the CAG could fix the fees scheme wise and choose auditors for these schemes district wise and has also provided the Planning Commission and the official auditor with a list of chartered accountant firms across the country.
The institute has also suggested that audit work be made subject to peer review by a designated reviewer, with a view to controlling the quality of audit of social schemes and government projects.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are some of the social sector schemes run by the government.
“We have taken a decision that anyone who gets work through the tendering process, will have to maintain a cost sheet… we are trying to ensure that people do not quote abnormally low and the quality of work is not compromised with. Tender work may become subject to peer review also by the reviewer to be appointed,” Chopra said.
Peer review is the evaluation of performance by other people in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work or performance in that field.
It is based on the concept that a larger and more diverse group of people will usually find more weaknesses and errors in a work or performance and will be able to make a more impartial evaluation of it rather than just the person or group responsible for creating the work or reviewing the performance.