akshapaTalam – Records and Audit office

Having dealt with revenue – http://sastra-artha.blogspot.in/2013/07/activity-of-revenue-administrator.html cANakya goes on to explain the importance of audit of the records.

The records and audit office should be established facing east or north. Depending on the importance the officers of three kinds the best ones for most important, middle for the middle range and low for the low end projects should be appointed. Every work year is 354 days. All the records should reach the akshapaTalam by AshaDha shukla pUrNima.

Along with the details of accounts, the status of the works undertaken etc., should be reviewed and audited.

The loss could happen due to the 1. ignorance (ajnAna) of procedures 2. lack of endurance (uthAnaklEsa) 3. due to lazyness (Alasya) 4. due to mistakes / overlook (pramAda) 5. fear of uproar from the subjects (sankrOSa bhIti) 6. due to favouritism (anugraha) 7. due to pride (darpa) and 8. due to greed (lobha) of the officer.

Each deviation should be identified and root cause need to be ascertained. In the growing order of magnitude the fines should be given for the loss incurred due to the 8 cases above. (1 lowest and 8 highest scale)

King should not appoint close relatives as officers due to the punishment involved for the non-compliance to the procedures. (Wife’s brother and daughter’s husband etc., should not be appointed as officers!)

If the officers are not ready with the accounts by Ashadha pUrnima, they can be given at the maximum of one month time to furnish the details. Beyond that the fines apply.

It is important to ascertain the root cause of non-compliance and remedied the root cause. The fines and punishment is to fix the root causes.

For small errors/mistakes King should forgive the officers. Even the income is very little King should be happy (if the process is working fine). For those who strictly adhere to the procedures and help establish the order should be respected and honored.

This is the seventh chapter of second book of artha SAstra.

My Notes: It is very interesting to see the modern project management reviews, various certification audits, excellence models do not have the essential part of identifying the root-cause. Non compliance is raised and closed. We need to think of auditors identifying the root cause of non-compliance and suggest the solution as suggested by artha SAstra even in the modern day audits.

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