Articles 149-151 of the Constitution prescribe the role of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is assisted by the Indian Audit and Accounts Department (IA&AD) to discharge his constitutional role.
At the top and middle managerial level of the IA&AD there are around 600 Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) officers. They are either directly recruited through the Civil Services examination conducted by the UPSC or inducted by promotion from Group B (supervisory staff).
Article 148 –
There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor-General of India who shall be appointed by the President.
He shall only be removed from office in like manner and on like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tenure of CAG—
CAG holds office for a period of six years or upto the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
CAG can resign any time from his office by addressing the resignation letter to the president.
CAG can also be removed by the president on same grounds and in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Duties and Powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General—
His duties are to audit and report upon—
All receipts into and spending from the Consolidated Fund of the Union and State Governments.
All transactions relating to the Emergency expenses (called Contingency Funds) and relating to the monies of the public held by the Government e.g. Postal savings, Vikas Patras (called Public Accounts) at Central as well as State levels.
All trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept in any Government department.
All stores and stock accounts of all Government offices and departments.
Accounts of all Government companies and Corporations e.g. ONGC, SAIL etc.
Accounts of all autonomous bodies and authorities receiving Government money e.g. municipal bodies, IIM’s, IIT’s, State Health societies.
Accounts of anybody or authority on request of the President/Governor or on his own initiative.
The Act also provides for compilation of accounts of the State Governments from the subsidiary accounts maintained by the State Governments.
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.
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.
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.
The CAG also submits the certified annual accounts of the States, known as the Finance and Appropriation Accounts, to the State Legislatures.
The organisations subject to the audit of the CAG are—
[a] All the Union and State Government departments including the Indian Railways, Defence and Posts and Telecommunications.
[b] Public commercial enterprises controlled by the Union and State governments, i.e. government companies and corporations.
[c] Non-commercial autonomous bodies and authorities owned or controlled by the Union or the States.
[d] Bodies and authorities substantially financed from Union some of the local bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions which are critical grass root agencies for implementation of developmental programmes and delivery of services.
Independence of the CAG
The Constitution enables the independent and unbiased nature of audit by the CAG by providing for—
[a] His appointment by the President of India.
[b] Special procedure for removal (like a Supreme Court Judge).
[c] Salary and expenses Charged (not Voted) to the Consolidated Fund of India.
[d] Disallowing his holding any other Government office after his term expires.
[e] He is provided with the security of tenure.