Economy India
Artha Desh

CAG TEAM HOLDS BRAINSTORMING SESSION WITH CENTRAL MINISTRIES

A CAG team headed by Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Report Central), Shri Rakesh Mohan held a brainstorming interactive session here today with the senior officers of the Central Ministries with a view to enhance synergy to foster a constructive relationship, facilitating the identification of systemic issues, financial irregularities, and potential areas for improvement. Addressing the participants Shri Rakesh Mohan stated that while the traditional role of audit has been to scrutinise executive actions, there is a growing acknowledgement that there is also space for a level of synergy between the C&AG and the executive. By working hand in hand, the C&AG and the executive can address deficiencies and enhance governance mechanisms, leading to the effective and judicious utilization of public resources to optimise the desired outcomes. This partnership can thus promote a culture of fiscal discipline, good governance, and responsible decision-making, ultimately benefiting the citizens of India, he said.
The DAI said that ‘C&AG, legislature, and the executive are an integral part of our democratic system. C&AG, as an independent constitutional body, plays a pivotal role in ensuring financial accountability and transparency in government operations. Our audit reports provide vital information to the legislature, enabling it to hold the executive accountable for its actions. This interdependence strengthens the checks and balances within a democratic framework, as the C&AG’s reports serve as a valuable resource for legislative debates and decision-making. Furthermore, the executive depends on the legislature for the allocation of funds and the enactment of laws necessary for its functioning. Thus, the three entities form a symbiotic relationship, each relying on the others to fulfil its constitutional duties and maintain the integrity of democratic governance’
The DAI further stated ‘Entry conferences with the auditees where we can have friendly and constructive conversations are a stepping stone towards the goal of a sustained conversation with the auditee. Through such Entry conferences, we expect to share with you our objectives, areas of concern and methods, and we expect you to suggest additional areas for scrutiny to enable streamlining of overall performance. Similarly, through exit conferences, we share our audit findings with the auditee organisations to solicit their views and to make our reports balanced.’
Shri Rakesh Mohan also stated that ‘an important part of the conversation between the Audit and auditees is the cooperation and prompt response from ministries to access relevant information and documents. Delays in furnishing records often hinders the audit process and results in incomplete assessments. Streamlining communication channels, establishing clear protocols for information sharing, and enforcing accountability measures can help mitigate delays and ensure a smooth flow of information between the ministries and the CAG. The cooperation and active involvement of ministries in facilitating the audit process will contribute to enhance financial governance and strengthen the overall accountability framework in the country.’
The DAI further commented that ‘the delay in the submission of accounts of autonomous bodies under various ministries, due to various reasons, is a matter of concern for the CAG. We as auditors, highlight these issues to ensure transparency, accountability, and compliance with financial regulations within these autonomous bodies. By engaging with the ministries, the CAG aims to identify the root causes behind these delays and work towards effective solutions. Addressing these challenges is vital to ensure the timely submission of accounts, accurate financial reporting, and proper audit of these bodies. It is through these efforts that the CAG contributes to the overall improvement of financial practices and governance in India.’
He also added that the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament has time and again expressed displeasure on the delayed submission of Action Taken Notes or ATNs on CAG’s Reports. He expressed the hope that the Ministries’ representatives would take note of this and ensure that the submission of ATNs is streamlined and systematised.
Shri Rakesh Mohan stated that the ‘CAG firmly believes that a strong partnership between our office and the ministries is crucial for achieving our shared goal of efficient and prudent utilization of public resources.’ This gathering presents a unique opportunity for us to come together and foster a spirit of collaboration and cooperation. It is through such interactions that we can collectively strive to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective governance.
More than 30 senior officers representing 18 central ministries participated in the session. u

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