The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) alongwith National Informatics Centre (NIC), functioning as technology partner of the Government, has been recognized for its AuditOnline software programme at the WSIS Forum 2023 at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva under Category 7 — Action Line (AL) C7 — ICT Applications: e-Government — for conducting online audit of all Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
Shri Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has extended congratulations and best wishes to Team MoPR and NIC on being conferred with the prestigious ITU–World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prize 2023.
The application for the project AuditOnline: Facilitating Audit in Government under category C7 – ICT Applications: e-Government was submitted in the 12th edition of the contest of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2023 at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva. The WSIS Prizes 2023 is an exceptional international recognition of WSIS Stakeholders as Winners and Champions for their excellence in supporting the implementation of WSIS outcomes, WSIS Action Lines and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The contest included a five-phase process viz. (i) Submission phase, (ii) Nomination phase wherein submitted projects would be reviewed (20 projects each in 18 Action Line Category), (iii) Public online voting for all the WSIS stakeholders to vote, (iv) Selection of winning projects by the ITU Expert Group based on in-depth analyses for top five voted projects and (v) Announcement of winners to the public during WSIS Prize 2023 Ceremony at WSIS Forum 2023.
After the due process per phase followed, AuditOnline has been awarded the WSIS Prizes Award 2023 under the Action Line category ICT Applications: e-Government based on the most voted project in the category. The prize distribution ceremony was held at the Centre International de Conférence Genève (CICG), also known as International Conference Centre Geneva in Switzerland on 14th March, 2023. Shri Sunil Jain, DDG (Panchayat Informatics Division), NIC received the coveted ITU WSIS 2023 Winner Award for AuditOnline application developed as part of Panchayat Enterprise Suite under ePanchayat Mission Mode Project initiated by MoPR in virtual mode.
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is an annual award event coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), affiliated with the United Nations (UN), in collaboration with UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD to promote ICTs for achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. This event is intended for ICT development initiatives that support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2023 is being organized on the theme, ‘WSIS Action Lines for Building Back Better and Accelerating the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.
Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) play a vital role in the delivery of various services and basic amenities to the citizens residing in vast rural landscape of the country. It is of utmost importance that the Panchayats are well equipped with the necessary infrastructure and have adequately trained manpower. In order to deliver various services rendered by PRIs, Central Finance Commissions mandated Grants are continuously granted by the Central Government to the PRIs including Traditional Local Bodies (TLBs) across the country. Hence, it becomes necessary that the PRIs/TLBs performances are continuously monitored to ensure transparency in utilization of public money for developmental activities in rural areas and to ensure accountability in their overall functioning.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been continuously leveraging Digital Technology to deliver good governance in rural areas and bring about transparency and accountability in the Panchayat functioning; and to enhance end-to-end experience of delivering public services.
Central Finance Commission time and again have expressed concerns over availability of audited accounts of the Panchayats; and the XV Finance Commission in its report laid down a two-point critical reform agenda wherein they emphasized on making available the accounts online, both before and after audit. To address this critical institution reform, MoPR launched the AuditOnline application on 15th April 2020, for carrying out online audits of accounts – further strengthening the financial management and transparency of the Panchayats. One of the unique aspects of the application is that it is configurable as per every States’ Audit Act / Rules.