The Action Taken Report (ATR) Module of AuditOnline was launched by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) yesterday through video conferencing, at a virtual event presided over by Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, in the august presence of Shri Sunil Kumar, Secretary, MoPR, Dr Chandra Shekhar Kumar, Additional Secretary, MoPR, Shri Alok Prem Nagar, Joint Secretary, MoPR, Shri Vikas Anand, Joint Secretary, MoPR and senior officers from the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
Senior officers from the State Panchayati Raj Departments and representatives from the Directorate of Local Fund Audit also attended the event in virtual mode. Panchayat functionaries from various States /UTs also participated in the virtual launch of the ATR Module of AuditOnline.
To promote greater transparency and accountability in Panchayat audits, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj launched the AuditOnline application on 15th April 2020, enabling online audits of Panchayat accounts and further strengthening financial management and transparency.
States have achieved significant progress, generating over 200,000 Audit Reports in the two last two audit periods 2020–21 and 2021–22. It is a feat worth commendable on the part of States and Panchayats. As of date, 256,795 Panchayats have been registered; 2,103,058 observations have been documented and 211,278 (approximately 80%) PRI Audit Reports have been generated for audit period 2021–22.
As per the operational guidelines of the XV Finance Commission, starting from the fiscal year 2023–24, States must ensure that all tiers of Panchayats, constituting 100% of rural local bodies have audited accounts for the 2021–22 period. To achieve accountability through audits, the Ministry has endeavoured to enhance the online audit process by introducing the Action Taken Report (ATR) Module, which has been launched yesterday. This module aims to provide a more structured approach to the audit process, ensuring clarity on the actions taken in response to audit findings.
Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj emphasized that the ATR module launched by the Ministry marks a significant milestone in promoting digital governance at the grassroots level. He urged States / UTs to prioritize the audit of all Panchayat accounts to meet the criteria of the Fifteenth Finance Commission for subsequent grants. Strengthening the District Level Financial Advisors (DLFAs) and Audit Departments is crucial to meet audit deadlines effectively. Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil emphasized how the ATR Module of AuditOnline will enable Panchayats to become more accountable, efficient, empowered and corruption-free, ensuring seamless management and utilization of funds at the Gram Panchayat level across the country.
Shri Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj highlighted that the Action Taken Report (ATR) Module of AuditOnline is expected to streamline the online audit process and provide clarity on the actions to be taken by Panchayats regarding audit observations, enhancing transparency and accountability at the grassroots level.
Shri Sunil Kumar commended States/ UTs for good work done so far in the area of Financial Audit of Panchayati Raj Institutions through AuditOnline, highlighting that ATR Module will strengthen our demand before the Sixteenth Finance Commission for higher allocation of funds for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)/ Rural Local Bodies (RLBs). He emphasized streamlining the online audit process to further improve clarity on actions undertaken regarding audit observations and enhancing transparency in the proper utilization of funds at the Gram Panchayats level.
During the event, Shri Alok Prem Nagar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, made a brief presentation on the ATR Module of AuditOnline, outlining the steps involved. A demonstration of the ATR Module was also conducted by NIC–MoPR. Shri Vijay Kumar, Deputy Secretary, MoPR proposed the vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all the participants from across the country, and also to all the officers involved in developing the ATR Module of AuditOnline.
In the future, the ATR module of AuditOnline will play a crucial role in holistic audits of all Panchayat accounts to meet the criteria of the XV Finance Commission for the release of subsequent grants. To achieve this, the States/UTs need to lay a special focus on strengthening the District Level Financial Advisors (DLFAs) and Audit Departments to ensure the timely completion of audit activities.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.