Pointing out major discrepancies in the audit system of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), corporator Sandeep Deshpande from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) demanded a third-party audit by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) at the standing committee meeting of the civic body Wednesday.
The corporator alleged that there are several loopholes in the system, which is resulting in cost variations since 2007. “Though it is mandatory for the civic body to present monthly audit reports before the standing committee, it is not being followed. The standing committee has no information on the monthly accounts and expenditure of the corporation. The chief auditor of the corporation is not even signing on the balance sheets, which is a gross irregularity,” said Deshpande.
According to the corporator, there was a difference of more than Rs 100 crore between the closing and opening balance sheets of BMC in the year 2011. He alleged that there were also two different figures for the property tax collected by the civic body in 2011, with a variation of more than Rs 30 crore.
“The account and audit departments need to be completely reviewed,” he added.
The chief auditor has, however, squarely blamed accounts department and the BMC’s e-governance system for the mess. “The accounts department has delayed the submission every year. As far as monthly reports are concerned, we have, till date, received it only for April 2012. The e-governance system, introduced in 2007 has also complicated it more,” said VB Satpute, municipal chief auditor.
The BMC Act stipulates that the audit report for the previous financial year must be submitted before November 30 of the current financial year. This is to be done before the revised budget estimate is prepared for the current year. The financial year closes on March 31. The accounts department, is therefore, expected to submit the accounts by June.