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Mystery over CAG site access

Days before both the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and RP Singh (lead auditors in the 2G spectrum allocation) are scheduled to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) over the disputed figures of the spectrum scam, sections of the CAG website have surprisingly been blocked.

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2011 23:37 IST
HT Correspondent

Days before both the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and RP Singh (lead auditors in the 2G spectrum allocation) are scheduled to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) over the disputed figures of the spectrum scam, sections of the CAG website have surprisingly been blocked.

Because of the inexplicable decision, the JPC members have been confronted with unforeseen difficulties in the task of framing questions for the CAG ahead of the crucial meeting on November 14.

Permitting free access until Thursday night, the CAG website now has only restricted access to the guidelines section — which provides information relating to the norms followed by the organization in conducting its performance audit.

Objectives laid down for the CAG's performance audit say that two or more auditors have to be in agreement.

"The exact wordings of such norms would have helped, as Rai and Singh have evidently not been in agreement over the dimensions of the spectrum scam," one JPC member said.

The CAG's figure of R1.76 lakh crore has been disputed by the lead auditor's estimate that the loss amounts to only R2,645 crore.

"It is indeed quixotic that the high priests of transparency and probity have restricted the access to some sections of their website. What prompted them to do so is something that only the office of the CAG can explain", Congress leader and JPC member Manish Tiwari said.

The office of the CAG denied that any content or information had been withdrawn or restricted from the CAG website, or that there was any such move.

“We work in a total transparent manner. If someone is facing a problem in accessing some information from the site, it may be clearly temporary for technical reasons as we are updating and revising our website," a CAG spokesman said.