New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday asked the official auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to provide “insight and foresight” for improving government programmes. He hailed CAG as “key partner in India’s progress”.

After inaugurating the 29th Accountants General Conference here, Kovind lauded the CAG as an institution for graduating from promoting accountability to ensuring that right things are done in the right and least expensive way.

"Through your financial, compliance and performance audits, you have been providing valuable oversight on operations and giving recommendations for improvement. It is the time, the institution thinks of giving insight and foresight as well,” he told the Accountants General.

“You are not only the keeper of national accounts, but conscience keeper to the nation and a key partner in India's progress," he said.

Stating that audit is not an end in itself, but a means to make governments work better, Kovind said there was a need to emphasise that outcome is a more meaningful measure of programme value than output.

"You may deliberate on how would you as an organisation identify, understand and measure outcome to study the impact of programmes. You may have to realign strategy in a manner that it measures outcome,” the President said.

With CAG using data analytics for auditing, Kovind said through the use of such techniques, the institution can assist in not only giving insights for the present but also aid in providing credible forecast for future.

“With the tools appropriate for managing and examining the expanding data in a digital economy, you are rightly positioned to anticipate long term trends and emerging issues related to the economy, education, health, environment , national security, among others,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)