NEW DELHI: At the recently concluded auditors general (AGs) conference in the capital, deputy CAG Ashwini Attri, the second high ranking official in comptroller and auditor general, demanded that the government increase the retirement age of CAG to 70 years so that the chief auditor gets time to complete six years in office.
As of now, CAG is appointed for a tenure of six years or 65 years of age, whichever is early. The six-year tenure for the CAG was decided when the retirement age of government servants was fixed 55 years. However, when this was revised to 60 years, none of the CAG’s appointed later could complete full tenure. In the case of incumbent Rajiv Mehrishi, he will only get three years since he was appointed as CAG at the age of 62 years.
“When judiciary is demanding 75 years as retirement age, we can safely request for 70 years of age for CAG,” Attri said in his speech addressed to finance minister Arun Jaitley at the valedictory session of the AGs conference.
The deputy CAG said the government should consider the amendment in the CAG’s DPC Act. This includes demand of the federal auditor for the timely laying of audit reports in assemblies and Parliament. Often CAG reports are delayed tabling before the legislature, sometimes for years.
In the past too, the auditor has demanded the review of the DPC Act, which governs the functioning of the CAG, seeking powers for time-bound receipt of documents and information from government departments. At present, the government departments often delay submitting information for audit purpose, resulting in the delay in finalisation of reports.
Earlier, CAG Mehrishi had highlighted the poor record keeping in the government that is hampering 100% audit of transactions. He said the federal auditor’s transition to the third generation of auditing by moving from performance audit to outcome audit, where outcomes of several flagship schemes are measured, will not be successful if all expenditure is not brought on IT platform.
“Over the last few decades the condition of record keeping and the habit of proper records have become more and laxer and it is rather unfortunate that our housekeeping is not as good as it should be,” the CAG said.