For long the CAG has functioned as a Raj carry-over, essentially auditing the accounts of both Revenue and Expenditure of the Government. It has stuck to post-audit with all its attendant drawbacks. A system of Internal Audit (IA) was set up, but without any teeth, being subject to influence.
Auditing governments and their ministries needs to be reinvented. Constructive online audit interventions by Internal Audit must replace post-audit. This will make the audit team a stake-holder rather than an adversary as now. Post-audit can then go into areas of policy formulation in order to identify zones of concern and evolve guide posts.
With the economy going global, a good auditor is one who is equipped to help out when national/international commercial scenarios abruptly change. Presently neither the auditor is happy putting out reports on matters sometimes beyond his ken nor is the administrator, who has taken major decisions based on the circumstances at a given point in time. Clearly all this demands auditors of the highest calibre well-versed in multifarious aspects of formulating decisions, instead of merely accounting for notional loss of Revenue, after an event.
The article, “Obstacles to financial inclusion” (Business Line, August 18) has analysed the present state of financial awareness, rather lack of it, even in bigger cities. The RBI can utilise the services of retired bankers. Their experience can be tapped for the betterment of society at large and to accomplish financial inclusion, in particular.
M Sadashiva Rao