Discuss the role of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) envisaged in the Constitution of India. How is its role different from that of CAG in Britain? (250 Words)
Articles 148 of the Indian constitution provides for office of Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) as the ‘guardian of the public purse’. It is one of the four bulwarks of the Indian democratic system.
Its role includes:
To enforce accountability and transparency of the executive in financial administration via means of Audit
- Regulatory Audit – to ascertain money shown in the account was legally available and applicable to the service for which it has been charged. This audit is mandatory.
- Propriety Audit – to look into wisdom and economy of government expenditure and comment on wastefulness and extravagance. This audit is discretionary.
Submit three reports to the President, which are laid before the parliament and examined by Public Accounts committee (PAC)
- Audit report on Finance account
- Audit report on Appropriation account
- Audit report on Public Undertaking
The difference between the British and Indian CAG is as follows:
|Indian CAG||British CAG|
|CAG performs the role of auditor only.||CAG performs the role of both auditor as well as comptroller.|
|Audit of the accounts is conducted after expenditure is committed.||No money can be withdrawn without the signature of CAG.|
|CAG is not a member of parliament||CAG is a member of the House of Commons|
Hence, it can be summarized that although both bodies have been created for the same purpose. British CAG is in effect more powerful and effective in keeping a check on wasteful expenditure than Indian CAG.