CAG Rajiv Mehrishi Wednesday said the official auditor will be able to conduct 100 per cent audit of expenditures incurred and revenues earned by the government provided all the transactions are conducted on IT platform. Emphasising on the need for greater independence of the institution of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Mehrishi quoted B R Ambedkar saying that the father of the Indian Constitution had recognised the value of the institution and its independence.
Stating that at present the government is incurring huge expenditure on welfare projects, Mehrishi said it is essential that every rupee spent is properly accounted for. Speaking at the 29th Accountants General conference, he said the 158-year old CAG is constantly reviewing its systems, with a focus to improve audit effectiveness and changing paradigm of the government.
“If we can ensure that all transactions of the government are on IT platform, and are non-repudiable then you can conduct audit of 100 per cent of transactions and move towards a goal, that we have always aspired for, which is assurance.”Even the United Nations, who we audit, seeks assurance and we ought to, at some stage, be able to provide it to the government,” Mehrishi said.
He said Information Technology (IT) touches upon every aspect of people’s lives today either directly or indirectly and the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ will further catalyse it. “It is more of a challenge than an opportunity for us in the audit and accounts department. The challenges are we have to now learn to audit IT systems for their safety, security, robustness and auditability,” he said.
Stating that the task before CAG though important is not always pleasant, Mehrishi said in accordance with the powers vested on him, the office of the CAG has to carry out the functions without fear or favour in the interest of the nation. “Our motto is ‘dedicated to truth in public interest’,” he said.