The Times of India report, “For 15 yrs, corp has been taking you for an audit ride,” (Mar. 3, 2016) is astounding!
The report says, “Showing an absolute lack of transparency or accountability for public money, the civic body (Kochi Corporation) has failed to submit proper revenue and expenditure statements for audit since 2000.”
Curiously, Kochi [2, 3, 4] corporation “authorities” gives one of the reasons as “official apathy.” The report adds, “Corporation authorities blamed the delay on technical reasons and official apathy.”
Further, an official of the Kochi audit committee said, ” We used to report the Corp.’s failure to submit financial statements to the local fund account committee, headed by MLAs , and to the state government. It is up to the committee and the government to take action against the local body.”
Lack of financial reporting and audit for 15 years means Kochi Corporation has, in effect, no governance. Based on the report:
- Kochi Corporation has no financial controls to evaluate organization performance,
- Fund Account Committee members, including the MLAs, are in dereliction of duty, and
- Kerala government has no oversight capability.
The troubling fact is that this is unlikely to be an isolated case. The question to ask is,
How many other Kerala government entities (corporations, municipalities, panchayats, companies) are also failing to provide regular financial reporting and audits?
- A failed local government?
- A government lacking purpose
- Waste and garbage are intrinsic part of consumer economy
- A case of organization amnesia
- Corruption, over-staffing and political interference