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CAG tells its field offices not to hold any press conferences

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has asked all its field branches to avoid holding press conferences after tabling of reports, and to stay away from Facebook and Twitter during office hours. When “audit reports contain routine or something controversial, press conferences may be avoided in consultation with the concerned DAI (Principal Directors)”, it said in an advisory.

When contacted, a CAG spokesperson said: “The message is that it is not mandatory to hold a press conference after tabling of a report. In case of a doubt on whether a conference needs to be held, field offices have been instructed to contact the Deputy CAG at headquarters.” The advisory comes at a time when CAG reports — in varying stages, from draft, “pre-draft” to final — have embarrassed the government. Last year, images of officers waving copies of CAG reports signalled an auditor at loggerheads with the executive. On the recent draft report on coal block allocations, the CAG indicated it might have been leaked at the field-office level.

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