'CAG extending its outreach to include political executives'

New Delhi, Mar 22 (IANS): The Comptroller and Auditor General of India's outreach is now being extended to include political executives to highlight audit concerns.

"The intent is to build a shared understanding of the most pressing concerns in governance and find possible solutions," Comptroller and Auditor General of India Girish Chandra Murmu said on Wednesday.

Murmu said that the media is a very powerful tool that adds value to society.

"In the Indian context, it has helped to disseminate the government's plans and initiatives. As a probationer, you have to understand the perspective and vision of your department, and it should improve the country's image in the international arena," he said this during an orientation programme with the Officer Trainees of the Indian Information Service (IIS).

The probationers belong to three batches of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Murmu stressed that the public has the right to access fair and objective information, whether it is about the government or otherwise.

"As officers, you should be able to guide the ministries and departments, the dignitaries and functionaries you are going to cover. Here, positioning, marketing and principles will come to play a role. The core of your training is to learn these strategies, and the soft skills to add value to you work," he said.

Noticing that most of the officers are from engineering background, Murmu said that technical skills should be used to handle the challenges of future media, especially with emerging self-help AI tools such as ChatGPT.

He said that the trainee IIS officers should gear up to meet the challenges posed by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

During the Q&A session, one of the probation officers asked Murmu if the CAG, which is the guardian of the public purse, actually enables citizens to know about the government's expenditure and receipts in an informed way.

To this, the CAG replied that there are several IEC programmes for raising awareness on social audits.

Asked whether the perception of the CAG as a paper tiger was true or not, Murmu said "the CAG audits strengthen the accountability of government projects and, thereby, upholds the ideals of democracy".

During the day-long session, senior CAG officers took sessions to explain the working of the institution. Deputy CAG, Ila Singh, spoke on the evolution of the CAG and the different types of audits it carries out with the highest professional standards.



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Title: 'CAG extending its outreach to include political executives'

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