Chapter V under Part V of the Indian Constitution deals with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG). CAG is responsible for auditing the accounts of the Union and State governments and public sector organizations, and for maintaining the accounts of State governments.
The reports of the CAG are taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees. CAG enjoys the same status as a judge of Supreme Court of India.
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Comptroller and Auditor-General of India: Articles
Article 148, Article 149, Article 150 and Article 151 deals with the comptroller and Auditor general.
Article 148: Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
(1) There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor-General of India who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and shall only be removed from office in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
(2) Every person appointed to be the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India shall, before he enters upon his office, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
(3) The salary and other conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor- General shall be such as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until they are so determined, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule:
Provided that neither the salary of a Comptroller and Auditor-General nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
(4) The Comptroller and Auditor-General shall not be eligible for further office either under the Government of India or under the Government of any State after he has ceased to hold his office.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General shall be such as may be prescribed by rules made by the President after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
(6) The administrative expenses of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor- General, including all salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of persons serving in that office, shall be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.
Article 149: Duties and powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General
The Comptroller and Auditor-General shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, shall perform such duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States as were conferred on or exercisable by the Auditor-General of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in relation to the accounts of the Dominion of India and of the Provinces respectively.
Article 150: Form of accounts of the Union and of the States
The accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, prescribe.
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Article 151: Audit reports
(1) The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the accounts of the Union shall be submitted to the President, who shall cause them to be laid before each House of Parliament.
(2) The reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the accounts of a State shall be submitted to the Governor of the State, who shall cause them to be laid before the Legislature of the State.
Info-Bits Related with Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
- State Accountants General (SAG) works under CAG. The Finance Accounts and Appropriation Accounts are audited by the respective State Accountants General (Audit) before submission to the CAG of India for certification and submission to the Governor / Administrator of Union Territory for being caused to be laid before the State Legislature.
- Apart from the Constitutional provisions, Comptroller and Auditor-General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971 (56 of 1971) also provides for the power of CAG. The act determines the conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and prescribes his duties and powers and for that matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- CAG reforms that can be suggested (Suggestions of Vinod Rai): (1)Bring all private-public partnerships (PPPs), Panchayati Raj Institutions and government-funded societies, within the ambit of the CAG. (2) Amendments to the CAG Act of 1971 to keep pace with the changes in governance. (3)A collegium type mechanism to choose a new CAG on the lines of selecting a Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
- “Audit has an adversarial function. In any situation whether it is private or public or government or whatever it is, it has an adversarial function. We are not going to praise government policies in an adversarial function. What is the purpose of audit — to look into actions taken and try to ensure that the actions that have been taken are as per the rules and procedures.” – Vinod Rai, Former CAG.
- The CAG is also the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, the affairs of which are managed by officers of Indian Audit and Accounts Service.
- The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) operates as an umbrella organisation for the external government audit community. INTOSAI was founded in 1953 at the initiative of Emilio Fernandez Camus, then President of the SAI of Cuba. At present INTOSAI has 192 Full Members and 5 Associated Members. INTOSAI is an autonomous, independent and non-political organisation. It is a non-governmental organisation with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. It has provided an institutionalised framework for supreme audit institutions to promote development and transfer of knowledge, improve government auditing worldwide and enhance professional capacities, standing and influence of member SAIs in their respective countries. In keeping with INTOSAI’s motto, ‘Experientia mutua omnibus prodest’, the exchange of experience among INTOSAI members and the findings and insights which result, are a guarantee that government auditing continuously progresses with new developments.