In its recent report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pulled up the state for the absence of biometric attendance system in children homes. The system, which was to be in place in 2011, was not implemented due to technical glitches.
In its audit, the CAG has stated that in the absence of bio-metric attendance system, all the 969 children homes in the state with 83,671 inmates (including 22,645 girl children) remained deprived of the enhanced maintenance grant from Rs 635 to Rs 900.
“A key technical system which could have ensured elimination of ghost children and plugged leakage of government funds disbursed to the children homes on the basis of enrollment remained unimplemented for the past three years. As a result, these children homes also remained deprived of the maintenance grant at an enhanced rate,’’ stated the CAG report, which was submitted to the state’s Legislative Assembly last month. “We have faltered on the biometric attendance system and we have been told to take note of it. We should be getting another system in place soon and all the homes will be covered,” said a Woman and Child Officer on the CAG report.
The officer explains that the system was expected to register actual attendance of children and eliminate bogus reporting of children and thus ensure genuine demand for grants (for food and clothing) by the children homes. The data had to be stored in Subscriber Identity Module, which was to be uploaded to the central server.
However, the audit observed, the order placed by social justice department to a Pune supplier for Rs 2.59 crore did not include the provision for supply of SIM cards to make these bio-metric machines operational.
Till August 2014, only 816 out of 969 bio-metric machines were supplied, as against the stipulated date of July 2011. However, due to non-availability of SIM cards, none of the 816 machines could be made functional, states the report. Despite this, 90 per cent amount of Rs 1.97 crore was released between November 11 to June 13.
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