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Greater probity, transparency needed in governance: CAG

Sunday, 13 January 2013 - 5:39pm IST | Agency: PTI
The CAG's mandate is not merely to prepare reports but it has a larger responsibility of holding the government financially accountable to the legislature, Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai said.

The CAG's mandate is not merely to prepare reports but it has a larger responsibility of holding the government financially accountable to the legislature, Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai said.

He stressed that audit also played an important role in ensuring greater probity, transparency and accountability in governance and warned that desired results of reforms cannot be attained if these do not improve.

Rai was speaking on 'Accountability and Transparency in Governance' while delivering former Kerala Chief Minister, C Achutha Menon's birth centenary memorial lecture here today.

He said that the CAG's mandate was not merely to prepare reports and place them in the legislature.

The constitutional mandate, Rai said, placed on CAG a larger responsibility like holding the government financially accountable to the legislature as "it is totally independent of the Government' as enshrined in the Constitution.

The CAG has been accused of breaching its mandate by the Congress after its reports on spectrum allocation and coal blocks allocation sparked political storm.

"If the general levels of probity, transparency and accountability do not improve in our governance set up, the desired results of reforms cannot be attained," Rai said.

He said there have been instances of lack of probity, transparency and accountability at various levels of governance, including corporate governance.

To sensitise public opinion, CAG has taken steps to disseminate audit findings to citizens groups, non-governmental bodies, educational institutions and the media, Rai said, adding audit also played an important role in ensuring probity, transparency and accountability in governance.

He said corruption in society had led to "skewed allocation of incomes and allowed domestic elites and large corporates a supercilious hold over policies and laws".

The political executive moulded policy formulation to their advantage, often at the expense of the disadvantaged in society, he said.

"It is undeniable that poor governance retards economic growth and defeats the objective of inclusion as it hurts the poor", Rai said.


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