‘Govt to dispel impression of adversary’
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said he will work with the CAG to dispel the impression of adversaries, even as the public auditor stressed that it would endeavour to provide honest and objective feedback to the government without fear or favour.
"Unfortunately, however, some dissonance has crept into the public discourse and for reasons which are inexplicable, the CAG and the government have been cast as adversarial to each other.
"Perhaps this in the nature in the functions of the government and CAG," the Minister said while addressing a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) conference here.
"It is my intention and desire as Minister of Finance to work with CAG to erase the impression of adversaries and restore trust and confidence in all institutions of government," Chidambaram added.
Auditors, according to CAG Vinod Rai, are neither adversaries nor fault finding experts though they endeavour to provide honest and objective feedback to the government.
"Audit is not an adversary. Neither is it merely a fault finding mechanism. We like to see ourselves as providing an objective and balanced feedback to the government without fear or favour," Rai said.
These comments by two senior functionaries come in the backdrop of criticism of CAG by government on its reports on coal block allocation, 2 G spectrum among other issues.
Policymaking, Chidambaram said, "is often through trial and error. Decisions are taken often without full info and in an environment of uncertainty. Audit is a post decision exercise. Perhaps because of the nature of functions, they are cast as adversaries to each other".
Rai, however, clarified, "we do not for a moment think that it is our business to tell the government what to do and what not to do. We tell the government, through our audit reports, whether departments were able to achieve what they set out to achieve."