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Critical role for audit community in contributing to good governance: LG

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JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday said that a significant change is taking place in the administrative and business processes due to e-governance and digital penetration.
“This change has brought new challenges and opportunities for audit community to pay special attention to the safety and security of the IT system and also make institutions and youth partners at the Panchayat level”, the Lieutenant Governor was speaking at the closing ceremony of ‘Audit Week’ here.
On the one hand, the use of artificial intelligence and knowledge-based expert systems has facilitated audit risk evaluation, internal control evaluation, and audit planning, while on the other new challenges have also emerged due to concerns about data security and minimum human control, the Lt Governor said.
“We have to strike a balance and use every tool available to ensure proper utilization of resources and make life easier for the beneficiaries of the schemes”, Sinha added.
The Lt Governor appreciated the efforts of the audit community towards transparent and accountable governance.
He said the week-long audit day celebrations provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the critical role the audit community plays in contributing to good governance and shaping the governance landscape of our Nation.
“Public audit ensures that every rupee is well spent for the purpose to bring about a change in the lives of the people standing in the last queue of development,” the Lt Governor said.
One of the earliest institutions established to bring transparency, accountability and honesty in public life is the Institution of Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Our forefathers while drafting the Constitution had a clear opinion that the Auditor General would be the most important officer in the democratic processes, he said.
Baba Saheb Ambedkar had said that the position of the Auditor General is the most important in the Indian Constitution and he will be the only person who will see to it that there is no expenditure in excess of what the Parliament has voted for or what is provided for in the Appropriation Bill of the Parliament, the Lt Governor observed.
The Lt Governor impressed on the Government departments to take quick action on the shortcomings.
In the era of reforms, it should be the endeavor of audit community to present the audit report and necessary facts immediately so that action related to the evaluation of policies and programmes is taken without any delay, he added.
“Audit observation and recommendation should be seen as a guide so that every penny of public exchequer improves the living standards of the common man,” the Lt Governor said.
All officers should change their thinking of looking at audit reports and audit observations as criticism of their work. If you read these reports carefully and follow the recommendations of the audit community, necessary improvements can be brought in governance, he added.
The Lt Governor commended the key endeavors of the Audit and Accounts Offices of J&K, over the last few years.
He said initiatives such as bulk settlement of pending audit paras, collaborative corrective action with UT departments to improve their operations, pension adalats, and progress in end-to-end computerization of pension cases showcase their commitment to innovation and efficiency.
These initiatives not only benefit the UT Administration’s departments but also directly impact the lives of the ordinary citizens of our Union Territory, the Lt Governor added.
Pramod Kumar, Principal Accountant General (Audit), J&K and Abhishek Gupta, Principal Accountant General gave a brief overview of the extensive audit exercises and activities conducted by the office of Accountant General in the UT.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Santosh D Vaidya, Principal Secretary Finance Department; Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner Secretary GAD; Anand Jain, IGP Jammu and senior officers were present.

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