Guidelines on Social Audit under Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) Scheme

The Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) programme Guidelines issued by the Government of India have included “Social Audit” as an integral part for implementing the Backward Regions Grant Fund scheme.   In para 4.15 of the “Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme Guidelines”, the Government of India stipulates that clear guidelines on Social Audit by Gram or Ward Sabhas in rural areas and Area Sabhas and Ward Committees in urban areas have to be issued by the State.   The BRGF scheme in Andhra Pradesh is currently being implemented in 13 identified districts and 70 Urban Local Bodies.

Accordingly,  the  following  “Guidelines  on  Social  Audit”  are  hereby  issued enabling the Urban Local Bodies  implementing the Backward Regions  Grant  Fund Scheme to assess performance of the Scheme, identify and resolve gaps in implementation, ensuring accountability and participation of all the stakeholders in implementation of the Backward Regions Grant Fund scheme.

1)  Objectives of Social Audit under BRGF in Urban Local Bodies:

i.         To facilitate participatory evaluation of the implementation of the Backward

Regions Grant Fund scheme by involving the Civic Society.

ii.        To generate awareness and sensitizes various key sections of the Society and thereby enhance accountability and transparency of Governance and simultaneously sensitize the Governance on local felt needs.

iii.       Create a trust between Civic Society and Governance at various levels.

iv.      Identify gaps in implementation as well as policy and take corrective measures as well as redefine Strategy.

2)  Scope   of   Social   Audit   under   BRGF   in      Urban   Local   Bodies   (Social

Performance indicators)

i.         Extent of Civic Society Participation during planning.

ii.        Extent of inclusion of women and disadvantaged as beneficiaries.

iii.        Extent of Accountability and Transparency in the process of taking up and completing  various  developmental  works  (including  capacity  building) under the Scheme Urban Local Body.

iv.       Fulfillment of Functional Requirements of the  works. v.        Quality of the Constructed Infrastructure.

vi.       Improvements in Urban Service Delivery (core sectors – Water Supply, Storm  Water  Drainage,  Solid  Waste  Management,  Sewerage,  Stree

Lighting & Office Infrastructure) due to the works taken up and completed under the scheme.

vii.      Satisfaction of the targeted beneficiaries (including for Capacity Building Programme taken up).

3)  Key Stakeholders to be consulted & involved in Social Audit of BRGF.

The key Stakeholders to be involved in Social Audit of Backward Regions Grant

Fund scheme in the Urban Local Bodies are as follows:

i.         Immediate Beneficiaries. ii.        Elected Representatives.

iii.       Ward Committees/ Ward Sabha & Area Sabhas.

iv.       Self Help Groups – slum Level Federations and Town Level Federations. v.        Residential Welfare Associations.

vi.       Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) vii.      Officials and Staff of the Urban Local Body viii.     Officials from the MA & UD Department.

4)  Social Audit Methodology under BRGF in Urban Local Bodies:

4  (i)  Institutional  Arrangements  for  Social  Audit  centering  around  Women SHGs:

MEPMA (Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas) is designated as the Nodal Agency for conducting Social Audit of the Backward Regions Grant Fund scheme, in the 70 implementing Urban Local Bodies.

Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas officers and Experts Staff already working with the Self Help Groups in these 70 Urban Local Bodies shall be identified and kept in charge by the Mission Director, Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) for also taking up Social Audit under Backward Regions Grant Fund with Women Self Help Groups.

A. Social Audit Reform Committee (SARC) shall be instituted under the Principal Secretary to Government (MA), Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department with the following as members.

•   Principal Secretary (MA)                                               –  Chairperson

•   Commissioner & Director of Municipal Administration  –  Member

•   Mission Director, MEPMA                                      – Convnor Member

•   Managing Director, APUFIDC                              –  Member

•   Project Director, APMDP                                    –  Member

•   Engineer-in-Chief (Public Health)            –  Member

•   One Senior Officer from the O/o DMA with experience

in the SHG Movement/ Social Mobilization.  –  Member

•   One Senior Officer from O/o MEPMA.   –  Member

Through  the .  Social  Audit  Reform  Committee  Committee’s  primary task for addressing the immediate requirement, is Social Audit under  Backward Regions Grant Fund, the Committee shall also examine the possibilities of institutionalizing the Social Audit Reform for other Schemes and Programmes in Urban Andhra Pradesh over the time period.

The  following  are  some  of  the  responsibilities  of  the  .  Social  Audit  Reform

Committee Committee.

•     Mentor and Monitor the Social Audit process under Backward Regions Grant Fund in the imp[lamenting 70 Urban Local Bodies through MEPMA / Women Self Help Groups.

•     Provide institutional arrangements  such  as training approval of  action  plans, budgeting etc for the Social Audit Process.

•   Follow up action on the areas of intervention identified during Social Audit.

•   Disclosure of Social Audit Reports including submission of the same to the High Power Committee Constituted under Backward Regions Grant Fund.

•   Explore the possibility of institutionalizing Social Audit for other programmes and Schemes in Urban Local Bodies of the State.

4 (ii) Forum for involvement of Women SHGs:

The women Self Help Groups shall be involved in these 70 Backward Regions Grant Fund Urban Local Bodies at the level of both town and Slum Level Federations of Self Help Groups.  In case of Backward Regions Grant Fund works falling under non slum areas the nearest Slum Level Federation shall be identified by Town Level Federation (TLF) for taking up Social Audit Activity or the local Residential Welfare Organization may be identified by Town Level Federation.

In non-Slum Areas, the Urban Local Bodies shall play a key role in building up acquaintance between the identified Self Help Group members and the local community falling in the non slum areas using existing civic forums in the area such as Residential Welfare Associations.   This (building up acquaintance between the Self Help Group Community Social Auditors and other stakeholders in a local community in both slum and non slum areas) shall be key activity to be included  in the Social Audit Action Plan.

The following shall undergo training by a Nodal Agency preferably by National Institute of Urban Management (NIUM) setup by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department or by some one conducting Social Audit Training for the Panchayat Raj  Department or Centre for Good Governance prior to taking up Social Audit under Backward Regions Grant Fund.

•   MEPMA staff  identified  and  kept  in  charge  for Social Audit  in 70  Backward

Regions Grant Fund Urban Local Bodies.

•     SHG Members of TLF/SLF identified by MEPMA in these 70 Urban Local Bodies who shall also be the community Social Auditors for conducting  Social Audit.

•   Urban Local Body staff from these 70 Urban Local Bodies.

•     Members of the Civic Society such as interested graduates form the Urban Local Body and NGOs and other Stakeholders such as Resident Welfare Association as may be identified by MEPMA for building up a receptivity and awareness towards Social Audit in these 70 Urban Local Bodies.

4 (iii) Action Plan for Social Audit and Budget:

The detailed Action Plan Covering

•     Timelines including periodicity of conducting Social Audit and detailed activity schedule.

•   Details of Self Help Groups, Staff and other Civic Society Members to be trained

•   Budget Requirements.

Shall be prepared by the Mission Director, MEPMA and placed before social Audit Reform Committee.   After due deliberation and finalization, the Committee (SARC) shall place the same before the HPC (High Power Committee) under Backward  Regions  Grant  Fund  for  approval  and  necessary  Budget  Release under appropriate grant component of Backward Regions Grant Fund.

4 (iv) BRGF works in Progress:

The Action Plan by MEPMA shall also include social Book keeping and Auditing for the works in progress and not just for those taken up and completed under BRGF, following  the  broader  framework  envisaged  as  above.    These  shall  include  any additional Social Control Mechanisms such as submission of Utilization Certificates for the works under progress/ completed jointly though Community Social Auditors and the Urban Local Bodies concerned, implementing the Backward Regions Grant Fund Scheme.

The Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration, Mission Director, IKP-Urban (MEPMA),   and  Engineer-in-Chief  (Public Health),  Hyderabad  shall also consider to propose extension of above social audit process to other schemes like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM),  Rajiv Awas  Yojana (RAY) and other departmental works and projects in due course.

G.O.Ms.No. 302 Dated:01.07.2013 Read the following:

1.  From the Additional Secretary, MoPR, Government of India, D.O.Lr.No.N-
11019/43/2009-Pol.I, dated 04.01.2010.
2.  From DMA, Lr.Roc.No.19665/2007/93, dated 02.11.2011

The Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency  (SSAAT) shall be the agency for conducting of the Social Audits.

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