Former Comptroller Auditor General Vinod Rai defended government officials going on private trips at the tax payers’ expense, suggesting that it was “one of the perks of being in the civil service.”
Asserting that vigilance officials should overlook smaller transgressions and invest its energies in major cases, Rai went on to defend this misuse of power in public by saying, “So what! I mean, really so what. What other facility or perk does a government give me?”
This practice of government employees to carry out private trips on taxpayer money is a very prevalent one and is carried out by finding some official reason to travel to the city, usually by fixing up meetings with someone in the state government.
Rai, might be the first civil servant to defend this practice and cited a personal incident by saying. ““I mean a colleague’s daughter was getting married and I can’t afford to buy an airline ticket, certainly not when I was in the job. I created a duty and went there, attended the wedding also incidentally and came back and you are wasting your time looking at my travel allowance bill,” he said to illustrate his point.”
It was under Rai’s watch that the auditing body Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had reported on the 2G telecom spectrum and coal block allocation scandals. After retirement, Rai authored a book: The Diary of the Nation’s Conscience Keeper – Not Just an Accountant, and was appointed to head the Banks Board Bureau in February this year.