Focus Points for Doing Propriety Audits of Government Expenditure: The Propriety audit is to vet the expenditure in the annals of financial wisdom and uprightness. It is to check to bring out the improper, avoidable, or in fructuous expenditure even though such expenditure has been incurred in conformity with the existing rules and regulations. A transaction may satisfy all the requirements of regularity audit in so far as the various formalities regarding rules and regulations are concerned but may still be highly wasteful. It is not audit of sanction or against norms. It is a qualitative, opinion-based expression of auditor’s findings as regards the efficiency, effectiveness and economy dimensions of expenditure.
In this regards, the following main points should be kept for consideration:
(1) The expenditure should not be prima facie more than what the occasion demands. Public money should be spent by the officers as of his own with utmost diligence and care.
(2) No order for sanction of expenditure should be made by an authority which results in pecuniary gains directly or indirectly.
(3) Public moneys should not be utilised for the benefit of a particular person or section of the community unless:
(i) the amount of expenditure involved is insignificant; or
(ii) a claim for the amount could be enforced in a Court of law; or
(iii) the expenditure is in pursuance of a recognised policy or custom; and
(iv) the amount of allowances, such as travelling allowances, granted to meet expenditure of a particular type should be so regulated that the allowances are not, on the whole, sources of profit to the recipients.
(4) There should not be profiteering by the authority or anybody where the expenditure is in the nature of compensating.
(5) Wastage are avoided in expenditure. The cost of administering should not eat off the benefits of the expenditure.
(6) The expenditure should percolate down the beneficiary without corruption.
(7) The expenditure should bring out optimum, enduring benefits instead of mere frittering away the public money on meeting day to day needs repeatedly.