Auditors are neither adversary nor fault finding experts but those who provide honest and objective feedback to the government without fear or favour, CAG Vinod Rai said on Tuesday.

“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,” Mr. Rai said while addressing the Accountants General in New Delhi.

His comments came in the backdrop of criticism of CAG by government on its reports on coal block allocation and 2G spectrum.

“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,” Mr. Rai said.

He said the benchmark against which the auditors examine and assess the performance of the departments are not created by them, but by the government itself.

“If government lays down a policy, we see whether that policy is being implemented. Government lays down the rules, we see whether these rules are being followed,” Mr. Rai said.He said the CAG has been advising Government on the need to bolster internal audit mechanism within the departments.

Mr. Rai said financial statements are expected to provide a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the entity.However, cash-based accounting system followed in India has ceased to reflect a true state of affairs of the governments as neither the assets nor the liabilities get properly reflected under the cash based system.

“Yet we have achieved very little progress towards an accrual based system which will provide a better idea of our assets and liabilities. We reiterate our commitment to continue our efforts towards implementation of accrual based system,” he said.

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