President Ram Nath Kovind (CREDITS: TWITTER)
President Ram Nath Kovind (CREDITS: TWITTER)

CAG should focus on outcome-based auditing: Pres Kovind

ANI | Updated: Oct 11, 2018 02:07 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 11 (ANI): Terming the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) as a `conscience keeper` to the nation, President Ram Nath Kovind called the top auditor body to focus more on providing outcome-based auditing and technology-based insights.
While addressing the 29th Accountants General Conference on "Auditing and Accounting in a Digital Era" here on Wednesday, President Kovind said, "Audit is not an end in itself. It is a means to make governments work better. Given this, I believe we have to emphasise outcomes as a more meaningful measure of programme value than output. Through the use of data analytic techniques you can assist in not only giving insights for the present but also aid in providing credible forecasts."
He added, "The broad mandate and range of audit assignments, transactions and operations - as well as the expertise required for a thorough analysis - is challenging. You have always risen to the occasion. You are not a mere keeper of national accounts but a conscience keeper to the nation and a key partner in India's progress."
The President was also happy to note that the institution of the CAG came out with a data management policy and is increasingly using data analytics in its audit work.
He added that with the use of data analytic techniques, the CAG could assist in not only giving insights for the present but also aid in providing credible forecasts.
With the tools appropriate to managing and examining the expanding data in a digital economy, the CAG is positioned to anticipate long-term trends and emerging issues related to the economy, education, health, environment, national security among others, President Kovind said.
The President further said that there is a massive decentralisation of funds, functions and functionaries and greater flexibility available to state governments.
"A number of welfare schemes are also implemented through urban local bodies and panchayats. However, it is a fact that accountability mechanisms at the local level are not as robust. The social audit to account whether the money was spent properly, and made the intended difference, is mostly conducted by the scheme beneficiaries," President Kovind added.
The President further said that the CAG, as an institution, could partner with local citizens and state audit societies to train them, build capacities and issue advisories on framing of guidelines, developing criteria, methodology and reporting for audit.
President Kovind further went on to say that the top auditor body may deliberate on how it would identify, understand and measure outcomes to study the impact of programmes. He stated that such a study of programme effectiveness would be a big boon to policymakers, and should also include a dialogue with the implementing agencies to understand their motivations and perspective. (ANI)