NREGA Social Audit in Unnao

A social audit of national rural employment guarantee scheme (NREGS) shall be conducted by Asha Parivar and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh (UP), during 15-21 January 2010.

"Commitment to transparency and accountability runs through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). This commitment also flows from the right to information Act 2005. The Right to Information (RTI) Act should be followed in both letter and spirit in all matters relating to NREGA. No request (for information) should be refused under any circumstances. All NREGA-related information is in the public domain" says the chapter 10 of the NREGA operational guidelines. Read more

The third pillar of the peoples Right to Information is the use of the platform for peoples participation facilitated by "social audit." Social audit allows for collective evaluation, and use of the non written mode, and it mandates demystification of documents and procedures.

The NREGA guidelines dedicate an entire chapter (11) to compulsory social audit. The guidelines state: "An innovative feature of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is that it gives a central role to 'social audits' as a means of continuous public vigilance (NREGA, Section 17). One simple form of social audit is a public assembly where all the details of a project are scrutinized. However, 'social audit' can also be understood in a broader sense, as a continuous process of public vigilance."

In Unnao social audit planned during 15-21 January 2010, villagers and activists associated with Asha Parivar and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) will be conducting social audit of work done under NREGS in the district, to ascertain the quality of work as well as veracity of documents which have been obtained under the RTI Act. The focus will be specially on issues related to workers, like issue of job cards, who keeps them, giving of work, payment of wages, fulfillment of other provisions, etc. "All are cordially invited to join this audit" says the organizers of the social audit.

The training to conduct social audit will be held during 15-16 January 2010 at the Fatehpur Chaurasi Block office. Upon conclusion of social audit a public hearing will be held at the Block office on 21 January 2010 which is likely to be attended by District level officials, officials of the Rural Development Department of Government of UP and some past and present people's representatives.

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