Saturday, November 24, 2012

Circular 28

Dear Comrades
 
Please find Circular 28-2012 posted below.
 
With greetings
 
M. S. Raja
Secretary General

ALL INDIA AUDIT & ACCOUNTS ASSOCIATION

CSV WARRIER BHAWAN

15/1089-90, VASUNDHARA, VASUNDHARA (P.O.), Dt. GHAZIABAD (U.P), PIN-201012

Ph: 0120-2881727/4101593/ 0 – 98681 45667

E-mail: auditflag@gmail.com

Website: www.auditflag.blogspot.com

 

Reference: AIA/Circular-28/2012                                                 Dated:  24th November 2012

 

To

Unit Secretaries,

Members & Spl. Invitees – NE &

Members of Women's Committee

 

Dear Comrades,

 

Of late, a debate is on the statement by Shri V Narayanasamy, MOS/Personnel that the Govt is thinking of making the institution of CAG a multi-member body.

 

The role of CAG has been agitating the members of the All India Audit & Accounts Association for quite long. For long the issue was revolving around how the institution of CAG could be strengthened in the interest of parliamentary democracy and the people at large.

 

In the National Conventions held in 1981 on 'Role of Audit in Parliamentary Democracy' and in 1989 on 'on strengthening of Audit & Accounts', the work papers presented and the declarations adopted were very clear on this aspect. The statements in the work papers presented in the Conventions had a theme – "whenever democracies get replaced by other forms of Government, the first victim is the independence of audit".

 

In the Convention held on 22.11.1981 on the "Role of Audit in parliamentary Democracy" Justice VR Krishna Iyer had stated in his message – "Let me enter a caveat. Our Parliamentary democracy will perish and eventually our independence itself will vanish if our economic advance is allowed to be disrupted by the mishandling of public finances and by the creeping disease of escalating corruption in public offices at the higher levels. Today, more than everbefore, everybody suspects the top brass in the administration, especially where big money is at stake. Therefore, the credibility of the administration and the final social integrity of the political government make a monetary morality and constitutional compulsion that the audit authority is assigned a high place and fearless security of tenure'.

 

This holds good even today – rather more starkingly.

 

But as stated, these conventions did not go beyond the postulations on how to save the audit from executive interference, make it financially non-dependent of the executive and convert it as an effective tool in public accountability. Constitutional amendments and changes to the DPC Act, 1971 were mooted in that direction. 

 

It was in 1995-'96, the issue of the composition of CAG was first formally discussed and finally decided, organisationally. In the work paper circulated in 1995-96, the Association had proposed:

 

'1. At present it is administrative expenses of the office of CAG of India is charged upon Consolidated fund of India under Art 148(6) of the Constitution of India. By a constitutional amendment, the administrative expenses of the entire IA&AD should be charged upon the Consolidated fund of India. This would ensure that the funds needed for full discharge of audit functions are not subjected to cuts even by the Parliament.

 

2. The person selected for the post of the CAG should be from the panel of Public men of repute prepared by the Union Govt and even opposition parties and selected by the President of India.

 

3. As done in the case of Election Commission more than one person may be appointed as CAG to function as a Bureau/Board/Commission in determining the extent & contents of auditorial functions.

 

4. A system of Report on activities of the IA&AD being presented to Parliament annually for examination by the appropriate Parliamentary Committee followed by a discussion in both the Houses of Parliament.'

 

The government of the day may have some ulterior motive in proposing a multimember CAG. There is no iota of doubt that the thrust for proposing a change is without any good intention of strengthening the institution of audit to safeguard the people's interest.

 

Indian Constitution does not lay down qualification for the post CAG nor the manner of his selection, though it was discussed during the Constituent Assembly debates held in May 1949. The result is that since 1978, all those who have been appointed as CAG are from the IAS.

 

The personnel working in IA&AD need not be told how we are suffering today – functionally, as well as, as personnel working in the department. Enough damage has already been done to the concept of audit as a tool to strengthen Public Accountability by overstressing on Performance Audit and thematic audit, there by scuttling micro level audit. In the days to come the CAG would live through media glares, not by its performance and discharge of its duty to the people of the country.

 

The recent public spats on the veracity of audit of 2G spectrum allocation has brought about an avoidable skepticism. A multimember CAG would definitely have thwarted this sort of unwarranted and uncalled for controversy.

 

This Association takes strong exception to the public statements of former DG of Audit, P&T. Every one of the higher officer forget that the audit report is basically the collective product of the audit party or parties that has taken great pains – working overtime. True to the character of the Group A cadre, the labour of those who worked hard is hardly appreciated and all credits are being appropriated by those at top echelons.

 

The idea to the CAG as a multimember body is not something to be opposed blindly, though we have reservations of the government's motives. Collective functioning would always be better than what it is today.  Today's functioning is opaque; a multimember CAG would make it somewhat transparent.  

 

With greetings,

Yours fraternally

 

 

 

(M.S.Raja)

Secretary General