New Delhi, Oct 1 : Defence Minister A.K. Antony Monday said financial rules and procedures can not be by-passed for the sake of speedier decision-making.

Antony asked the financial managers of his ministry not to bypass 'laid down rules and procedures'.

Speaking at a function organised to commemorate the Defence Accounts Department Day here, Antony said: "In a democracy like ours we owe an explanation to the people that the public money is utilized with propriety for the intended purpose."

He said the task of utilizing funds "optimally and with honesty, transparency and fairness has to be a collective endeavour".

"Speedier decision-making must not lead to bypassing of laid down rules and procedures. The principles and procedures governing such powers are strictly adhered to, particularly in a democracy like ours, where an elaborate system of checks and balances exists. We are all responsible to the Parliament and in turn, to the citizen of this country to ensure that public money is utilized with propriety for the intended purpose", he added, said a statement here.

Antony said to ensure faster decision making, enhanced powers have been delegated to the Services Headquarters, as well as to the field formations, along with provision of Integrated Financial Advisers at various levels.

"We have also introduced a collegiate system of decision making as against the earlier system of considering a decision on expenditure by circulating files to various stakeholders involved in making procurement and spending decisions in the MoD, Service Headquarters and in the lower formations", he said.

The successful formation of the system demands a positive role from the finance member in getting the best value for money. During this process, competent financial authorities and other budget holders need to be supported with a Management Information System (MIS) on budgetary and expenditure monitoring in real time, he said.

The defence minister also launched two IT projects developed in-house by the Department, namely 'Pension Sanction Project' and 'Project SUGAM'. On this occasion, Raksha Mantri awards for excellence were also presented by Antony to selected employees for their outstanding contribution during 2011-12, the statement said.


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