Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Background

  • Article 148 provides for an independent office of the (CAG of India).
  • Head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.
  • Guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • Bulwarks of the democratic system of government in India

Appointment of Comptroller and Auditor General of India:

  • The CAG is appointed by the president of India by a warrant under his hand and seal.
  • The CAG, before taking over his office, makes and subscribes before the president an oath or affirmation.
  • He holds office for a period of six years or up to 65 years.
  • Resignation to the president.
  • He can also be removed by the president on the same grounds and in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court ( Parliament – Special majority).

Independence of Comptroller and Auditor General of India:

  • Removed by the president only. Security of Tenure.
  • He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.
  • His salary and other service conditions are determined by the Parliament.
  • The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament
  • Further, no minister can represent the CAG in Parliament (both Houses) and no minister can be called upon to take any responsibility for any actions done by him.

Duties & Power of Comptroller and Auditor General of India:

He audits the accounts related to –

  • Consolidated Fund of India,
  • the consolidated fund of each state, and,
  • consolidated fund of each union territory having a Legislative Assembly.

He audits all expenditures from the

  • Contingency Fund of India and
  • the Public Account of India and
  • the contingency fund of each state and the public account of each state.
  1. He audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and state governments.
  2. He audits the receipts and expenditure of the Centre and each state.
  3. He also compiles and maintains the accounts of state governments.
  4. He audits all transactions of the Central and state governments related to debt, sinking funds, deposits, advances, suspense accounts and remittance business.
  5. He audits the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or Governor. For example, the audit of local bodies.
  6. He advises the President with regard to prescription of the form in which the accounts of the Centre and the states shall be kept
    (Article 150).
  7. He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre to the President, he places them before both the Houses of Parliament (Article 151).
  8. He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of a state to the governor, he, place them before the state legislature.
  9. The CAG submits three audit reports to President–1. audit report on appropriation accounts, 2. audit report on finance accounts, and 3. audit report on public undertakings. The President lays these reports before both the Houses of Parliament. After this, the Public Accounts Committee examines them and reports its findings to the Parliament.
  10. An agent of the Parliament and conducts audits of expenditure on behalf of the Parliament.
  11. Responsible only to Parliament.
  12. The role of CAG in the auditing of public corporations is limited. The role of the CAG in the auditing of Government companies is also limited. They are audited by private auditors who are appointed by the Government on the advice of the CAG.
  13. secret service expenditure is a limitation on the auditing role of the CAG.
  14. Constitution of India visualises the CAG to be Comptroller as well as Auditor General. However, in practice, the CAG is
    fulfilling the role of an Auditor-General only and not that of a Comptroller
  15. CAG has no control over the issue of money from the consolidated fund and many departments are authorised to draw money by issuing cheques without specific authority from the CAG 

Important Articles related to Comptroller and Auditor General of India

  1. A-148. Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
  2. A-149. Duties and powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General
  3. A-150. Form of accounts of the Union and of the States
  4. A-151. Audit reports

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