J&K Audit Manual 2020 which has come into force in the Union Territory provides for shifting to e-audit in a phased-manner in next 3 years, while introducing a new set of guidelines for audit and inspections of government records.
A Finance Department order issued in this regard said: “In supersession of all previous orders/circulars instruction issued in this behalf, sanction is accorded to the issuance of guidelines/instructions to Jammu and Kashmir Audit Manual, 2020 describing about audit functioning, role, responsibility, mode and method of the audit and inspections organisations (sic).”
This audit manual will be applicable in all Government departments, Public Sector Undertakings, Statutory authorities, Government Corporations and other entities which are under administrative control of the Government.
Even as Directorate of Audit and Inspections has been conducting internal audit of Government Departments in J&K since 1996, absence of “manual to lay-down a structured framework” for the audit was being felt, an official said.
He said the this audit manual was introduced in J&K “to streamline and time bound the audit, besides bringing more transparency and accountability in the functioning of Government Departments.”
“The manual delineating the role and responsibility of audit organizations contains detailed guidelines and procedures to be followed in conduct of audit and drafting of audit reports,” the official said.
The manual has impressed upon the audit organization to exclusively shift to e-audit mode in a phased manner in next 3 years.
To overcome the constraints for physical audit of records in a situation like Covid-19 pandemic, the audit manual has impressed the audit organisation to shift to “e-audit” in a gradual manner.
With this, the audit team using technological intervention will eliminate physical visits, reduce auditor-auditee interface and ensure optimal use of time and resources, reads the manual guideline.
“An e-audit platform shall be devised through NIC . . . and e-audit (shall be) commenced on pilot basis in at least 50 offices during financial year 2020-21,” reads the directive.
In case a detailed physical examination of records is felt necessary, the auditors shall visit the office concerned to check records and to conclude examination within one or two days.
“Any major irregularities coming to notice of audit, especially those pertaining to current operations, shall be reported to the higher authorities in the department immediately for taking corrective measures,” the manual reads. Besides, they have also introduced surprise and comprehensive audits.