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Defence ministry sets up apex committee to carry out performance & efficiency audit


NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry has set up an apex committee to conduct "performance and efficiency" audit of capital procurements, logistics, inventory and maintenance of assets of the armed forces.

The committee, headed by the defence secretary, will advise Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on measures for overall improvement in strengthening of internal oversight and risk management framework in various aspects of functioning of the ministry.

The panel comprises vice chiefs of the three services, secretary defence (finance), chief of integrated staff committee, controller general of defence accounts and director general (acquisition) and other senior officials of the ministry, including representatives from the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The setting up of the committee comes amid efforts to streamline the military procurement procedures and focus on enhancing the country's overall combat readiness.

"The Ministry of Defence has set up an institutional mechanism comprising of an apex committee with the defence secretary as chairman to conduct a performance and efficiency audit into various aspects of its activities," the ministry said in a statement.

"This kind of audit is expected to provide valuable inputs to the top management of the ministry of specific shortcomings, if any, in planning and execution of projects, and suggest systemic improvements in internal controls, soundness of financial procedures, identification of risk factors, etc," it said.

The ministry described formation of the committee as a "major shift" from the existing transaction-based compliance audit to carry out an outcome-based performance and efficiency audit.

"The broad areas that have been identified for the conduct of performance and efficiency audit include defence capital procurements, provisioning, logistics, inventory levels, maintenance of platforms/assets, role and performance of authority holding sealed particulars etc," the ministry said.

It said the apex committee can also recommend any other specific area for performance and efficiency audit.

"The committee chaired by the defence secretary will identify specific areas for the conduct of performance and audit by controller general of defence accounts and monitor performance audit reports and action taken thereon," the ministry said.

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