Full Form of CAG – Comptroller and Auditor General of India
The full form of CAG stands for “Comptroller and Auditor General of India”. Established by article 148 of the Constitution of India, CAG is an authority which audits the receipts and expenditures of the Indian government and the state government, including institutions, authorities, and bodies that are majorly financed by the government, also acting as an external auditor to government-owned companies and supplementary auditor of government companies and major subsidiaries of the government companies.
What are the Duties and Powers?
The CAG has wide-ranging duties and powers from compiling accounts, auditing and detecting frauds. Here are the major duties and powers.
#1 – Compile Accounts of Union and States
The CAG is required to compile the accounts of the Union and State governments from the initial and subsidiary accounts. The initial accounts are kept with treasuries, offices or departments of central and state governments, which are furnished to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for compilation.
#2 – Prepare and Submit Accounts
After compiling, the CAG prepares and submits the accounts to the President, Governors of States and Administrators of Union Territories having Legislative Assemblies, detailing the receipts and expenditure of the state and union government bodies
#3 – Auditing Accounts
He is duty-bound to audit the accounts furnished to it by the government, government bodies and companies to ascertain that the receipts and expenditures mentioned in the account are true to their nature. He audits whether the expenditures mentioned in the accounts have been disbursed for the applicable purpose and cause.
#4 – Audit of Bodies or Authorities
The CAG audits receipts and expenditure of bodies or authorities majorly financed from Union or State revenues. These bodies and authorities get loans and grants from the State and Union fund and have to be audited to ensure the right use of the funds granted.
#5 – Auditing powers of the CAG
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has the authority to 1) inspect any office of accounts controlled by the Union or State government, including treasuries and offices responsible for the keeping of initial or subsidiary accounts, 2) call for accounts, books, paper, and documents concerning the audit to be furnished at his appointed place of inspection, 3) question the people in charge of preparing the initial accounts, or ask for more information to perform the audit.
#6 – Auditing the Government Companies
The CAG should perform the audit of government companies in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
#7 – Furnish Reports to Concerned Governments
The CAG should furnish the audit reports on state and union finances and government companies to the concerned government (state or union) to be tabled in the parliament and respective legislative assemblies.
#8 – Audit of Accounts of Certain Authorities or Bodies
The CAG is required to audit certain authorities and bodies, which have not been entrusted to it if requested by the President of India, union or state government or other administrative bodies.
#9 – Power to make Rules and Regulations
The Union Government, after consultation with the CAG, can make rules for maintenance of accounts by government bodies and authorities to be followed by their treasuries and accounting departments for appropriate furnishing of their accounts for compiling and auditing by the CAG. He is also authorized to make regulations concerning the applicability of the act under which it is governed.
Role of CAG
The role is to ensure that the Union and State accounts are in order, free from misappropriations and errors.
- The audit by CAG provides the requisite credibility to the books of accounts of the governments and their organizations. The role is to ensure the highest standards of audits are applied to maintain the credibility of accounts.
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India can not ask for details on the secret service expenditure and has to rely on a certificate entailing the expenditure has been incurred under the authority of a competent administration.
- He can also perform a propriety audit to ascertain the relevance (wisdom, faithfulness, and economy) of the expenditures incurred by the governments and its bodies and point out wasteful expenditures. This is a mere obligation and not a legal or regulatory requirement.
- He also has a role to prescribe best practices in accounting and reporting for the authorities to represent the best nature of receipts and expenditure by these bodies.
Which are the Reports filed by CAG?
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India file the following three kinds of audit reports to be tabled before appropriate legislative assemblies including the parliament.
- Report concerning appropriation showing the grants and loans rendered from the state and union finances are used for the envisaged purposes by bodies and authorities.
- Audit report on state and union finances, including their receipts and expenditures, furnished to the respective state governments and the central government.
- Audit reports concerning the state of accounts of the companies controlled by the state and central government either jointly or in isolation.
What is the Salary of CAG?
The CAG is paid a salary equal to that of the Judge of the Supreme Court. Additional perks are over and above the salary received by the CAG. They receive Rs. 3,00,000 as an annual salary (Rs. 25,000 per month).
Who is Currently the Comptroller and Auditor General of India?
The current CAG of India is Rajiv Mehrishi, IAS, appointed on 25 September 2017. Rajiv Mehrishi is the 13th Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Vice – Chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors. He is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1978 batch belonging to Rajasthan cadre.
Prior to his appointment as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed the Home Secretary of India on 31 August 2015. He has also held offices as the Union Home Secretary, and the Union Finance Secretary. Prior to his appointment as the Finance Secretary, he was the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan.
The CAG has been instrumental in bringing out some of the most debated reports including the report of 2G spectrum allocation report, coal mine allocation report and the Fodder Scam. These reports have led to numerous litigations, cancellations of licenses and convictions of prominent figures in politics and business.
This has been a guide to the full form of CAG and its definition. Here we learn the duties and powers of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, its role along with salary. You may refer to the following articles to learn more about finance –