Audit engagements provide a unique opportunity of gaining deep understanding of system and place cag in a good position of suggesting improvements: President Ram Nath Kovind

New Delhi : Audit engagements provide a unique opportunity of gaining deep understanding of system and place CAG in a good position of suggesting improvements, said the President of India,  Ram Nath Kovind.  He was speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service Officer Trainees of 2018 and 2019 batches at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts in Shimla today (September 18, 2021).

The President said that past 18 months have been very trying for the country. Economy was badly disrupted due to COVID-19 pandemic. Government has taken various fiscal measures to alleviate distress and for welfare of the poor. These are often financed through money, which may be said to have been borrowed from our children and grandchildren. We owe it to them that these scarce resources are put to best possible use and are most effectively used for welfare of the poor and needy. CAG has a very important role in this.

The President said that while performing oversight function CAG need to be aware of opportunities of providing inputs for systemic improvements. Audit engagements provide a unique opportunity of gaining deep understanding of system and place CAG in a good position of suggesting improvements. Governments would take serious note of advice made by an institution like CAG. This would positively impact our public service delivery standards.

The President said that for citizen-convenience, government processes are increasingly getting digitalized. Fast expanding technology frontier has reduced distance between State and citizens. Through direct benefit transfer, money can reach the poorest citizen in the most remote corner of the country at the push of a computer button. From audit perspective this is a ‘small challenge’ and ‘huge opportunity’. Using advanced analytics tools, information from large volumes of data can be weaned out without travelling afar. This can make the audit engagements more focused and efficient. Systemic red flags can be raised at an earlier stage. He said that we have to keep pace with evolving technology landscape. He also expressed confidence that CAG is seized of the matter.

Speaking about sylvan surroundings of the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, the President said that such surroundings are a great place for learning pursuits. These surroundings also teach us of a very onerous responsibility of leaving same pristine nature for our future generations to enjoy. Despite India’s developmental needs we have undertaken significant responsibility to address global climate change challenge and environmental protection. He noted that CAG has taken measures to build capacities in the area of environmental audit. He said that this is a very welcome step for our future.  We must always remember that constraints of resource finiteness can only be partly addressed by human innovation.  For the rest sacrifice by our generation is the only recourse. CAG has a big role to play in making us aware of sacrifices we need to make for our future generations.

Addressing the officer trainees, the President said that as public servants they would derive greatest satisfaction in being able to serve the poorest and bring a smile on her face. While performing our Constitutional duty we must always be mindful of this common responsibility assigned to all functionaries. An approach laden with mutual empathy would ensure that we reach our National goals, much faster.

The President said that the independence enshrined in the Constitution is something to be cherished. More importantly, greater values need to be added to it through professionalism and absolute integrity. All young officers need to fully imbibe these qualities as they become forebears of such rich traditions of Audit and Accounts Department.