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At G20 India to push for AI, technology to set new global auditing standards

CAG leads the SAI 20 summit in Goa

The Comptroller and Auditors General of India (CAG), which is chairing the one year old Supreme Auditors Institutions’ (SAI) 20 this year has raised the pitch of greater coordination among the G20 nations for carving out audit norms in view of the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI). As it starts the three day summit of SAI 20 in Goa tomorrow, it is expected to come up with an action oriented communique. A key reason for setting up the SAI 20 last year under Indonesia’s chair was to enable the audit regulators to be “future-ready” amid rapidly changing audit environments amid technology and rising global challenges.

The CAG has outlined responsible AI as one of the main thrust areas of deliberations under India’s presidency.

While AI provides an opportunity for an audit mechanism, it has its own challenges related to accuracy, data collation and reliability. That apart, application of AI would require specific skills and training.

The SAI 20 had earlier met in Guwahati in March. The member countries had delved on the issue of AI in the larger audit frame.

The crucial meeting will be attended by Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Oman as well besides several other SAI’s of the G20 nations.

These countries have been specially invited by India as guest members for the meetings and other events of the G20 under its presidency.

SAIs of Russia, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE among others are expected to participate in-person at the Goa summit.

“With AI making greater inroads into governance, SAIs must inevitably prepare themselves for auditing AI based governance systems. Simultaneously SAIs must look for opportunities to adopt AI into their audit techniques to increase their effectiveness,” a statement issued by the CAG noted.

Under the guiding philosophy for India’s Presidency of G20, Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam –“One Earth, One Family, and One Future”, the CAG proposed collaboration of SAI20 Engagement Group on the area of Blue Economy as well besides responsible AI.

Earlier, CAG GC Murmu said that the blue economy could be the next multiplier of GDP only when sustainability and socio-economic welfare are kept at the centre-stage.

“SAIs can also consider developing international auditing guidelines for conducting marine audits, bringing out joint research papers on marine health, sharing practical knowledge and expertise on audit of Blue Economy through audit toolkits, conduct of joint co-operative- audits, etc,” he said at an event.

Also read: WHO reappoints CAG of India as external auditor for another four year term