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In a first for an intelligence agency,CAG audits NTRO

Weeks after the call given by Vice President Hamid Ansari to introduce a system of “oversight and accountability” in the functioning of intelligence agencies...

Written by Ritu Sarin | New Delhi |
February 25, 2010 3:08:19 am

Weeks after the call given by Vice President Hamid Ansari to introduce a system of “oversight and accountability” in the functioning of intelligence agencies,the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has initiated one such move.

In the first such exercise for an intelligence agency which comes directly under the administrative control of the Prime Minister’s Office,the CAG has commenced a “special audit” of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).

Conceived as the country’s premier technical research and intelligence-gathering unit,the NTRO has recently faced flak for its failure to generate real-time hard intelligence and for many of its high-tech projects remaining grounded.

Confirming the move,Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai told The Indian Express: “We do

not have the manpower to cover all departments of every organisation but the audit

will focus on important aspects such as purchases and expenditure.”

The focus on NTRO’s functioning comes at a time when following a spate of complaints received in government,twin inquiries have been initiated against an advisor-rank official. While NTRO’s internal inquiry is being overseen by a single-member committee headed by NTRO’s Senior Advisor,a second inquiry was initiated by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Senior officials in the CVC confirmed that the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Cabinet Secretariat has been given a three-month period to conduct the investigation. The CVO of the Cabinet Secretariat will investigating allegations of misuse of official position by the NTRO Advisor as well as alleged anomalies in recruitment,promotions and absorption of officers and technical staff.

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