The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Girish Chandra Murmu, on March 31 announced full activation of the One Indian Audit & Accounts Department One System (OIOS), a web-enabled IT application with support for multiple languages, offline functionality and a mobile app, for complete digitalisation of the audit process from April 1, 2023.
Mr. Murmu, who presided over the event for official launch of the OIOS, said henceforth all new audit work in the institution would take place only through the application and physical paper-based workflow would cease from Saturday onwards. “The only exception would be the Defence Audit offices which would take some more time because of security issues. From tomorrow onwards, the digitisation process would be irreversible,” he said.
The efforts to adopt the IT application had started in 2019. “The OIOS roll-out process involved work relating to master data, audit design, audit execution, legacy data migration, knowledge management system, quality assurance/quality control, audit products, communication and follow-up,” said Mr. Murmu.
Functional help desks
Stating that managing any change at an organisational level was not easy, particularly in the Indian Audit & Accounts Department (IAAD) that comprised about 25,000 strong workforce in about 150-odd audit offices across the country, he said a major factor in the change management effort was the creation of functional help desks. “In all, 24 dynamic Senior Audit Officers/Assistant Audit Officers were deployed exclusively for training, problem resolution and hand holding of various field offices,” said the CAG of India.
Mr. Murmu said given that the whole nation was getting transformed through digitalisation, leading to transparency, efficiency, ease of living and bringing governance to the doorstep of each and every individual, the IAAD would also need to clearly state its vision for the next 25 years in this regard. “... We must strive and become one of the most digitally advanced departments where working in a digital environment becomes a norm rather than an exception,” he said.
As a mid-term goal in the coming five to seven years, the CAG chief set the target of establishing the infrastructure processes for new and emerging areas of IT, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and developing capabilities to harness their potential for audit purposes.