Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Girish Chandra Murmu on Monday said that Supreme Audit Institutions should develop new techniques and capabilities to audit marine life or the Blue Economy to ensure sustainable development.
In order to fulfil their commitment towards sustainability goals in consonance with SDG 14 - Life below Water --, the governments are reorienting policies and regulatory structures to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
"Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) must align themselves with national priorities and efforts, through their audit by tracking progress, monitoring implementation and identifying opportunities for improvement," Murmu said, while inaugurating the three-day meeting of the Supreme Audit Institutions-20 (SAI20) Engagement Group, set up under India's G20 Presidency.
The conference is being attended by delegates from SAI20-member Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of G20 countries, Guest SAIs, Invited SAIs, International Organizations and Engagement Groups.
As the Blue Economy gains primacy, so will its audit, Murmu said, adding "to keep ahead of the curve, the SAI20 community must prioritise collaborations in arriving at new techniques, skills, capabilities and methods."
He further said the experience and knowledge sharing that is evident in the Compendium on Blue Economy prepared by SAl India showcases 16 case studies that "will stand us in good stead as we undertake audits of the blue economy."
The CAG also announced the establishment of a Center for Excellence in the Blue Economy at SAI India's International Centre for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development, a recognised Global Training Facility for INTOSAI, Jaipur.
"We set the ball rolling in April 2023 with an international webinar on experience sharing by 7 SAI represented by 32 participants on an audit of blue economy-related issues.
"Our vision is to create a centre of excellence that not only fosters research but also acts as a catalyst for knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst SAIs in this important field," he said.
Murmu said that given the power, possibility and perils of AI, it would be imperative for policy makers to put in place processes to responsibly harness the potential of this technology.
However, with AI making greater inroads into governance, he said, 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.
Responsible AI, he said, ought to stand on four pillars -- organisational democratisation that empowers and encourages individuals to raise concerns; systems that enable AI to flourish; systems and platforms that are trustworthy and explainable by design; and articulation of responsible AI Mission that is anchored in organisational values and ethical guardrails.