“Social auditing plays a critical part in the proper execution of welfare programs for vulnerable populations.” Comment. 

The study and assessment of a program/scheme with the active participation of people, as well as the comparison of official records with actual ground realities, is referred to as a social audit. Social audit is a valuable method for social transformation, community participation, and government accountability.

Role of social auditing in the proper execution of welfare programs

  • It informs and educates common people about their rights and entitlements.
  • It gives a collective forum for people to ask queries, express their needs and grievances.
  • It encourages people to participate in all levels of program implementation.
  • It promotes transparency and accountability in welfare schemes.
  • It strengthens the decentralization of government.

Limitation of Social audit:

  • It is a highly localized phenomenon in nature. It is carried out at the gram sabha level and its findings cant be generalized in nature.
  • It has been irregular and ad hoc in nature. The majority of the social audit depends upon the will of the executive to conduct.
  • Social audits have not resulted in the erring officer being penalized, which has resulted in a decline in interest in these audits.
  • The documentation for the social audits lacks consistency.

Way Forward:

  • It should be incorporated into all social sector programs.
  • It can be mainstreamed for undertaking compliance audits for all the social sector schemes related to rules, frauds, and corruption.
  • Government should facilitate CAG association with local auditors to certify Gram Sabha accounts.
  • The government should form a cooperate with all of the major social auditors and adopt a uniform approach for social auditing.
  • There is an urgent need to recognize social auditors. Also, CAG should give social auditors capacity-building opportunities.
  • Collaboration with CAG will aid in the dissemination of the role of CAG of India in the appraisal and monitoring of public sector schemes.

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