The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific. This post features Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General for the Republic of India.
Who is he?
Vinod Rai has been the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India since January 2008. He possesses extensive experience in both the state and federal governments having started his career in the Indian Administrative Service. He has held previous posts as Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and various senior positions in the Ministries of Commerce and Defense. In December of 2011 he was chosen as the chief of the United Nations external audit panel.
Why is he in the news?
Mr. Rai and his cadre of 45,000 employees have kept a watchful eye on the government. He has previously made headlines by issuing investigative reports highlighting center-level corruption on matters such as allocation of mobile 2G spectrum and conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Most recently his office has gained publicity (and received scathing criticism from critics) for exposing the Coalgate scandal, issuing a report maintaining that the allocation of 155 coal acreages to about 100 companies from 2004 to 2009 resulted in a loss of approximately $30 billion USD to the exchequer.
What can we expect from him?
Mr. Rai has argued that auditors and the government should not be adversaries but instead be working together to improve governance, suggesting his office will continue to demonstrate little reservation in exposing indiscretions at the state and center-level. Additionally, Mr. Rai has been actively working to expand the scope of the CAG to include local bodies and new models in public-private partnerships. Some suspect that such efforts are motivated by Mr. Rai’s future political ambitions, presenting himself as a strong anti-corruption candidate. His constitutionally-mandated term as CAG concludes in 2014, after which his political aspirations (if any) will become more evident.