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What’s in news?

The government, has decided to create an additional (6th) post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General.

Key data’s:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi, has decided to create an additional post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, which will oversee coordination of audits of states as well as telecommunication.
  • The Deputy CAG shall oversee the coordination among state audits, audit of telecommunication and coordinate the various information systems initiatives within the Indian Audit & Accounts Department (IA&AD).
  • Expenditure on account of creation of this post will be about Rs.21 lakh. As per CAG’s website, currently there are 5 Deputy CAGs.
  • Their scope of work includes government’s accounts, central revenue audit, defence and railways, commercial and reports of central, communications and information systems.
  • The position of the 6th Deputy CAG post was created by abolishing one STS level post.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG):

  • The Constitution of India (Article-148) provides for an independent officeof the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.
  • He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels- the centre and state.
  • His duty is to uphold the Constitution of India and the laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration.
  • CAG helps the parliament/state legislatures hold their respective governments accountable. He is one of the bulwarks of the democratic system of government in India. The others are the SC, the ECI and the UPSC.

Independence of CAG:

  • He is appointed by the President by a warrant under his hand and seal and his oath of office requires him to uphold the Constitution of India and the laws made there-under.
  • He is provided with a security of tenure and can be removed by the President only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution (same as a judge of SC).
  • 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 though determined by the Parliament cannot be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.
  • His administrative powers and the conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department shall be prescribed by the President only after consulting him.
  • The administrative expenses of the office of CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India and are not subject to the vote of Parliament.

Types of Audit performed by CAG

  1. Regulatory Audit: It is an audit to ascertain whether the moneys spent were authorised for the purpose for which they were spent and also that the expenditure incurred was in conformity with the laws, rules and regulations.
  2. Supplementary Audit:CAG takes up supplementary audits in PSUs, even after the commercial audits are done by the auditors appointed by the CAG, for detection of leakages.
  3. Propriety Audit:It focuses on whether the expenditure made is in public interest or not i.e. it moves beyond mere scrutiny of expenditure to question its wisdom and economy in order to identify cases of improper expenditure and waste of public money.
  4. Efficiency Audit:Efficiency audit as the name suggests answers the question whether the money invested yields optimum results. The main purpose of the efficiency audit is to ensure that the investment is prioritized and channeled into its most profitable utilization.
  5. Performance Audit:Performance audit answers whether the government programmes such as NREGA have achieved the desired objectives at the lowest cost and given the intended benefits. It generally does not get into the merits-demerits of a particular policy/scheme rather looks into the effectiveness with which the scheme is implemented and any deficiencies thereof.
  6. Environmental Audit:This is a relatively new area of concern for the CAG keeping in mind the challenges facing India with respect to conservation and management of the environment. More than 100 audits on environmental issues like bio-diversity, pollution of rivers, waste management have been conducted by the CAG to identify critical issues and suggest possible solutions by involving all stakeholders.

 Constitutional provisions:

  1. 148:Broadly speaks of the CAG, his appointment, oath and conditions of service
  2. 149:Broadly speaks of the Duties and Powers of the CAG
  3. 150:The accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of the CAG, prescribe.
  4. 151:Audit Reports

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