India's CAG calls AI game changer for public audit

India's CAG calls AI game changer for public audit

He emphasised that it's again crucial for SAIs to build the necessary skills to examine information system controls.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, February 07, 2023, 10:01 PM IST
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be a game changer in the public audit space as it will help in quicker and more detailed analysis during both planning and execution stages, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) G C Murmu said on Tuesday.

The potential benefits of applying AI techniques to the audit processes are substantial/ and have already been identified through several use cases, he said in his closing remarks at the SCO SAI Leaders meeting here.

High-level delegations from eight Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries participated in the 6th meeting of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) to deliberate on issues related to cyber security and artificial intelligence, and the role of auditors of the SCO nations.

"Our intent is to use AI not as a one-time solution for a specific audit, but to build an evolving AI model that will allow for quicker and more detailed analysis during both the planning and execution stages through risk assessment straddling multiple parameters and a far more comprehensive evaluation than afforded through sampling," he said.

Murmu emphasised that it's again crucial for SAIs to build the necessary skills to examine information system controls, given the shift to electronic processing and computerized systems in public sector entities.

"As shared by SAI India in this meeting, our cybersecurity audit teams focus on various key areas/including third-party management, governance aspects, documentation, user access controls, and legal compliance," he said.

They ensure that effective oversight of third-party activities is in place and that comprehensive agreements govern these activities, he said, adding the teams also verify the standards and procedures for incident management, problem management, and IT security policy.

Additionally, he said, they make sure that documentation is updated and accessible for knowledge transfer and exit management.

The audit also covers user access controls, including multi-factor authentication, and provides an assurance that the organization is compliant with overall legal frameworks prescribed for cybersecurity, he added.

Murmu appreciated the initiative of SCO Member SAIs in integrating new and emerging technologies in audit practices to enhance audit efficiency, and effectiveness, and promote transparency and accountability in public administration.

The SCO Member SAIs unanimously decided to hold the next meeting of SCO Member SAIs in Tajikistan in 2025. 

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