May 17, 2011

Comptroller and Auditor General of India _ for APPSC G1 & G2

Article 148 provides for the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. He is an independent body. He is the Guardian of the public purse. He controls the financial system of our country at both Central and State level. He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. While controlling the financial system he has to uphold the Constitution and laws of Parliament. So he is one of the bulwarks of the Democratic system. The other bulwarks are Election Commission, UPSC and Supreme Court.
The present CAG is Vinod Rai.
Appointment and the term
He is appointed by the President. He takes an oath
1. To bear true faith to the Constitution
2. To uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation
3. To perform his duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will
4. To uphold the Constitution
He holds office for 6 yrs or upto 65 yrs whichever is earlier. He can resign at any time by writing a resignation letter to the President. He can be removed by the President in the same way as a judge of Supreme Court is removed. So a resolution for his removal needs to be passed by both the Houses of the Parliament with special majority either on grounds of misbehavior or incapacity.
Independence of Office
1. Can be removed by the President only in accordance with the Constitution
2. Not eligible for further office under GOI or of States.
3. His salary, allowances and other conditions of service are to be determined by the Parliament. His salary is equal to the Judge of a Supreme Court.
4. The conditions of service cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
5. The conditions of service of people who work under Indian Audit and Accounts Dept. are determined by President only after consultation with CAG.
6. The salaries, allowances and pensions of CAG are charged from the Consolidated Fund of India and thus not subject to vote in Parliament.
No Minister can represent CAG in Parliament and thus is not responsible for any of acts undertaken by him.

Duties and Powers
Article 149 authorises Parliament to prescribe CAG's duties and powers related to accounts of Union and of States. So CAG's (Duties, powers and conditions of service) Act was passed by Parliament in 1971. This Act was amended in 1976 to separate Accounts from Audit in central government.

Duties and functions-
1. Auditing expenditure of Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of States and Consolidated Funds of UTs having Legislative Assemblies
2. Auditing expenditure of Contingency Fund of India and of States and Public Account of India and of States
3. Auditing of all accounts, balance-sheets etc. of Departments of Central and State Governments
4. Auditing of receipts and expenditure of centre and States to check assessment , collection and allocation has been done properly or not.
5. Auditing of receipts and expenditure of all bodies financed from Central and State govt.s, govt. companies etc.
6. Auditing all transactions of govt. including debt, deposits etc.
7. Auditing accounts of any other authority eg. local bodies when requested by President or Governor.
8. Advises President regarding the form in which Central and State accounts should be kept( Art 150)
9. Submits audit reports regarding accounts of centre to President who places them before both Houses of the Parliament.
10. Submits audit reports regarding accounts of states to Governors who place them before State Legislatures.
11. He certifies " net proceeds" of tax or duty( proceeds- cost of collection) and his certification is final.
12. A philosopher, friend and a guide to Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
13. He compiles and maintains accounts of State governments but not of Central governments due to separation of accounts and auditing depts. in 1976.
The CAG submits 3 reports to the President:
-Audit report on appropriation accounts
-Audit report on financial accounts
-Audit report on public undertakings
The President places them before the two Houses of the Parliament. Then, the Public Accounts Committee analyses them and reports its findings to the Parliament.
The accountability of the Executive i.e. the Council of Ministers to the Parliament is secured through audit reports of CAG. CAG conducts audit of expenditure on the behalf of Parliament and is responsible only to Parliament.
CAG also ascertains whether money shown in accounts is applicable to services for which it has been charged. This is the legal and regulatory audit. In addition to this, he can conduct a propriety audit which is left on his discretion. Under this, he can look into wastefulness and extravagance of such expenditure and thus look into wisdom of the government.
On the auditing role, the limitation is on secret service expenditure. The CAG cannot call for particulars of expenditure incurred by executive agencies, but has to accept a certificate from a competent administrative authority that the expenditure has been so incurred.
In practice, CAG is playing the role of Auditor General only and not of the Comptroller as many departments of executive draw money by issuing cheques not needing his permission, so he has no control over issue of money from Consolidated Fund of India. However, in Britain, CAG is both Comptroller and Auditor General in practice.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

holistic coverage. Wonderful.