Gewog Development Grant has no economic value to locality : Royal Audit Authority
The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) has found most of the activities implemented under Gewog Development Grants are of no economic value to the locality.
The RAA in its “Meet Your Auditors’ press confernece held last Wednesday presented the Annual Audit Report 2015 which was tabled in the Parliament on 30th June 2016.
The article 25.1 of the constitution of the kingdom of Bhutan 2008 and section 3 of the Audit Act of Bhutan 2006 state that, “there shall be a Royal Audit Authority to audit and report on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources.”
The Gewog Development Grant is one of the important initiatives of the government started in 2013 for development project in the community. It was aimed at giving financial flexibility to all gewogs which would go a long way in helping local governments function independently.
The total budget of Nu.2.00 million (M) per annum to each gewog has provided with full discretion in using the grant for its specific local needs and priorities.
The performance report on GDG states that as of June 2015, budget of Nu.820.61 M were provided to 205 gewogs for the last two financial years (2013-14 and 2014-15). The budget of Nu.799.03 M was spent on 2,181 small activities that are similar to normal planned activities where Nu.21.58 left unused to implement. The review GDG activities showed that more than 2,355 activities were proposed. Against these, 2,205 activities had been approved and 2,181 were implemented.
Many farm roads were not found pliable and the report highlighted poor quality of works implemented under GDG due to no proper monitoring mechanism in implementation of activities and transfer of ownership for asserts created thereby lacking proper maintence. “The utilization of grants for farm roads found not effective as the actual construction with limited budget resulted in poor quality of roads providing no value for the money in creating such infrastructures,” the report stated.
For instance, from 2,181 implemented activities, more than 566 were related to construction/ renovation of farm roads, followed by rehabilitation or protection of rural water supply schemes ( RWSS) and irrigation channels. The implemented activities also include maintenance works related to schools, Lhakhangs, Chortens, creamation ground and irrigation channels.
The RAA’s performance audit report on GDG states that a sizeable amount of public resources was spent on activities having no long-term impact. The RAA found that administration and gewog tshogde members had allocated budget for activities with no long-term impact in absence of such provisions. The RAA has recommanded the government review the existing GDG system and to aligin activities executed through GDG with that of longterm national goals.
The RAA reviewed programs and activities carried out under the GDG in 205 Gewogs.