An independent and empowered social audit mechanism is an absolute must in every sphere of public service, including the judiciary, to ensure performance, accountability and ethical conduct. Elaborate. (Answer in 150 words)
Social audit is the examination and assessment of a programme or scheme conducted with the active involvement of people and comparing official records with actual ground realities. Social Audit is a powerful tool for social transformation, community participation and government accountability. It is highly useful in eliciting information and preventing wrongdoing in government.
Social audit decentralises governance by informing and educating people about their rights and entitlements. It provides a collective platform for people to ask queries, express their needs and grievances. In addition, social audit promotes people’s participation in all stages of implementation of programmes and brings transparency and accountability in government functioning.
An empowered social audit can be more effective in improving the ethical conduct of officials than the internal audit mechanism in government, as the audit officers are often reluctant to find errors in their organisation due to pressure or temptation. Moreover, social audits involve a broad spectrum of public and put more pressure on public officials to work honestly. (163 words)
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