OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL OF INDIA

Supreme Audit Institutions should engage with media, citizens and anti-corruption agencies

Engagement of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAGs) should go beyond audit entities to include the larger public, the people. “We should develop modalities of continuous engagement with the government, the media, citizens, civil society organizations, and anti-corruption agencies.” This was stated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Shri Girish Chandra Murmu here today while virtually inaugurating the 19th Annual Meeting of the INTOSAI Compliance Audit Subcommittee hosted by SAI India. He emphasized the “need to be resilient in the face of challenging circumstances and prove our relevance by proactively engaging with the users and ultimate beneficiaries of our reports. I believe that our stakeholders are not our audited entities alone. These engagements could bring new insights into the compliance audit process, provide alternate sources of information, and create advocacy for our work.”

The two day meeting is deliberating on a variety of subjects including an overview of the activities of the INTOSAI Development Initiative in the field of Compliance Auditing during the past year, impact of new legislations governing jurisdictional functions of SAIs in France on compliance auditing, protection and conservation of lakes in the Indian City of Hyderabad and a new compliance audit manual developed by SAI Portugal. Stating that Compliance Auditing, by its very nature, enhances accountability, good governance and transparency, the CAG disclosed that “we have also collaborated with the INTOSAI Development Initiative in their project on Professional Education for SAI Auditors, and more recently in their project on Transparency, Accountability and Inclusiveness Audits which developed an agile methodology for auditing COVID relief.”

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Chair, CAS highlighted the contributions made by CAS to INTOSAI Standard setting and other capacity building activities. He underlined that this meeting is intended to deliberate on how to take the journey forward and to decide on how to design the strategies of CAS to take on the challenges of the future including the enabling and disruptive impacts of technology, the consequences of climate change, the need to support the implementation of the United Nations 2030 agenda, the need to fight against fraud and corruption and the need to ensure that audits by Supreme Audit Institutions serve to promote equality and inclusiveness in the society.

He pointed out that the framework of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting had been developed for private sector companies and businesses to report on their performance in these areas as well as to facilitate responsible investing and hoped that a session in the agenda on ESG Auditing would provide an insight into how ESG metrics could be tailored to the specificities of public sector organizations.

The meeting is being attended by His Excellency Mr. Hussain Niyazy, Auditor General of Maldives, and Her Excellency Olfa Mamlouk, President of the Chamber, Court of Accounts of Tunisia along with other distinguished delegates from member SAIs and Observers. About 15 delegates from the SAIs of Qatar, South Africa, Russia, Portugal, Norway, Namibia, Georgia, and Maldives are attending the meeting in person. Over 20 delegates from all over the world have also joined on-line.

Compliance Audit Subcommittee (CAS) is one of the four Subcommittees under the Professional Standards Committee (PSC) of International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). It was established in 2004 in Budapest with the mandate of providing practical guidance on how compliance audit should be planned, executed and reported upon, and also to develop INTOSAI guidelines on compliance audit. CAS also concerns itself with elaborating on and clarifying the concept of compliance audit and providing an overview of the mandates of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) for performing compliance audits.

SAI India took over the Chairmanship of CAS from SAI Norway in November 2016. CAS has 21 members, and two observers (AFROSAI-E and SAI Thailand). The Subcommittee meets annually and the meeting is hosted by one of the member SAIs.

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