Shillong, December 15: National Convention on Social Audit on Meghalaya Community Participation And Public Grievances Social Audit Act, 2017 was organized the by Programme Implementation & Evaluation Department through Meghalaya Society for Social Audit & Transparency today at Yojana Bhawan Auditorium, Shillong which was attended by state Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma as the Chief Guest.
CM Sangma welcomed the participants said that the whole exercise on social audit was rolled out in 2007 in respect of the schemes under MGNREGA and looked at how the social audit platform can be taken advantage of to ensure that all the programmes implemented by different line departments can be brought under the social audit exercise. “The government has so many programmes and interventions to take care of the dreams and aspirations of the people, to deal with the disparity in respect of the socio-economic spectrum across the country but things actually don’t happen on the ground as intended. The legislative mandate for social auditing in Meghalaya enables us to have a complete exercise of auditing by involving all the stakeholders, an auditing which enables us to have an immediate course correction” he added.
The Chief Minister also released the Meghalaya Community Participation & Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017, Draft Social Audit Manual and Draft Rules during the occasion.
CM Sangma also said that the biggest challenge for all politicians is to make a law that makes things transparent and accountable. He added that this exercise will give the policy makers knowledge to make course correction wherever needed and enable to do justice to the intent of the government. He also informed the gathering that a powerful and empowering mandate like the RTI is being misused by some people. “The only way such unpleasant practices can be prevented is when everybody participates, when nothing is hidden and the social audit exercise will do good for all of us” he said.
It must be mentioned that Meghalaya has become the first state in the country to pass a social audit legislation that will allow citizens’ participation in the planning of development, selection of beneficiaries, concurrent monitoring of programmes, redress of grievances and audit of works, services and programmes on an annual basis.