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The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) needs to enhance its skills to reorient itself to deliver results, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday and added that reports from the institution are taken very seriously by the government, parliament and the people.

Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the 150-year celebrations of the CAG, the prime minister stressed that as a watchdog of democracy it falls on the institution to distinguish between wrongdoing and genuine errors and to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making processes.

“The reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General are taken very seriously by the media, by the public, by the government and by our parliament. This casts a huge responsibility on the institution to ensure that its reports are accurate, balanced and fair.

“Very often, there is a very thin line between fair criticism and fault finding, between hazarding a guess and making a reasonable estimate, between a bonafide genuine error and a deliberate mistake.

“As an important watchdog in our democracy, it falls upon this institution to sift the wheat from the chaff, to distinguish between wrongdoing and genuine errors, to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making processes. This requires a very high degree of professional skill and competence,” the prime minister said.

He said the CAG had acquitted itself very credibly in the past 150 years but times were changing and so were our needs.

“The institution will have therefore to further enhance its capabilities and its skills and reorient itself to deliver results that our nation expects of it in the years that lie ahead,” he said.


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