India today took over the chair of assembly and governing board of Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI). Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Mr. Vinod Rai is the new chairman of the 45 nation strong Asian Organization of the Institutions of the Accountants General. ASOSAI is the largest regional organization of the government auditors. Mr. Rai takes over the prestigious post from Pakistan. In his speech delivered at the 12th ASOSAI meeting year the outgoing chairman of ASOSAI and Auditor General of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana expressed the hope that Mr. Rai will take the Auditors institution to new heights. The ASOSAI aims to promote understanding and cooperation among member institutions through exchange of ideas and experiences in the field of public audit. On assuming the new post, Mr. Rai exhorted the Accountants General to upgrade their professional skills and help their respective countries combat the grave economic problems facing each nation. These major challenges have imposed an onus on public audit institutions also to widen their canvas beyond probity and compliance. The increasing demands from citizens and legislature require AGs to transgress beyond being financial auditors to an objective evaluator of outcomes of government spending and the efficiency of government delivery channels for different projects particularly in the social sector, Mr. Rai said. He said that audit reports must recommend mid course corrections based on an objective analysis of the implementation of government projects. He reiterated the need for positive reporting and balanced observations. Mr. Rai welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution recognizing the autonomy and independence of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs). The resolution says SAIs can accomplish their tasks objectively and effectively only if they are independent of the audited entity and are protected against outside influence. It also recognizes the important role of SAIs in promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration.
Shri Vinod Rai, also said that traditionally, Public Audit was rule based and was concerned with probity and compliance alone. Recently, increasing demands from stakeholders to know more about performance and results has altered the perception of the role of the Auditors General in most countries. The SAIs` role has expanded from being merely an auditor of financial transactions of the Government to that of a promoter of an organisations™ performance and to act as a powerful trustee of public good. Our Reports provide an opportunity to the Government to make mid-course corrections and improve service delivery. He also said that keeping in view the increasing importance of environmental issues globally and to provide the necessary skills to auditors in auditing environmental issues, they are setting up an international environment audit training facility.