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Saturday, June 3, 2023

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         Reference: AIA/B-1/37/2023                                                                Dated: 01/06/2023


The Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 

9, Deen Dayal Upadhayay Marg,

New Delhi – 110 124.

                                 Kind Attn: Ms. P. Mehta, D. A. I. (H. R.)

                Sub: Introduction of bench mark in the evaluation test of SAO – reg


        I would like to bring your notice that the All India Audit and Accounts Association has  neither received any reply to the Association’s letter bearing no.AIA/B-1/29/2022 dated 10/10/2022 on the above mentioned subject nor the Hd. Qrs. Office discussed the issue with the Staff Side for settlement the issue of prescribing benchmark of 45% in the end of training examination of AAOs for promotion to the post of Sr. A.O.

        The All India Audit and Accounts Association is once again reiterating the earlier stand that it is very unfortunate that the Headquarters’ Office has taken such a unilateral decision by going against its earlier instructions issued vide Training wing Circular 317 dated 19/12/2019 vide which it was clarified that “Performance of the evaluation test will be considered for selection of officers for audit assignments abroad and for future specialised trainings” there by clarifying that passing of evaluation test after mandatory training is not any criteria for promotion Sr. Accounts Officer post for eligible AAO candidates . Based on this change, many eligible candidates of Panel Year 2020 have been promoted as Sr. Accounts officer in many Field offices after clearing of Panel by UPSC.

        In this regard, I would like to bring to your notice that ‘Group A’ status was given to Sr. AOs in 2019 and new Recruitment rules were framed by Headquarters office in November 2019. These rules only mandate 2-4 weeks training. There is no provision for passing of any evaluation test in these newly framed recruitment rules. Earlier also Headquarters Office has issued instructions in December 2019 wherein passing in Evaluation Test after 2-4 training was made mandatory condition for successful completion of training by the eligible candidates who were due to be promoted as Sr. Accounts officers. Eligible candidates represented against this decision but their requests were not accepted by the authorities.

        Left with no other option, some eligible AAO candidates of O/o Accountant General, Punjab, Chandigarh filed Original Application No. OA/1315/2019 on 18/12/2019 in CAT Chandigarh against the Headquarters office instructions for imposing arbitrary condition of passing Evaluation test for successful completion of training for promotion to the post of Sr. A.O. as no such condition was envisaged in the Sr. AO’s recruitment rule 2019. Notice for the same was served to all the respondents on 19/12/2019. On the same date i.e. 19/12/2019 Headquarters’ office circulated circular No 317 dated 19/12/2019 to all the field offices vide email retracting from earlier instructions of making Evaluation test compulsory for successful completion of Training.

    Accountant General Punjab office also issued letters to the Petitioners vide No Admn.I/Misc/AAOs/19-20/4398 dated 07/02/2020 informing them that instructions regarding compulsory passing of Evaluation test has been changed vide Headquarters office circular No 317 dated 19/12/2019 adding that now performance of the evaluation test will only be considered for selection of officers for audit assignments abroad and for future specialised trainings. Headquarters’ office has also submitted through its legal counsel in the CAT Chandigarh that earlier instructions of making passing of Evaluation test mandatory have been withdrawn vide Headquarters’ office circular No 317 dated 19/12/2019. On the basis of these submissions, Original Application No. OA/1315/2019 dated 19/12/2019 against Headquarters’ office was got rendered in- fructuous from the CAT Chandigarh Tribunal by the legal counsel of the CAG office.

        It is humbly submitted that the latest instructions issued by Headquarters office again making passing evaluation test compulsory for successful completion of training by eligible candidates is completely against the submissions made by the Headquarters office in the CAT Chandigarh Tribunal. It is evident that these new instructions will imply that Headquarters’ office had misled the CAT Chandigarh to close the earlier court case against similar instructions by stating that the said instructions for mandatory passing of evaluation examination had been withdrawn. And now after closing of the court case, the same sets of instructions have been re-introduced. Though All India Audit and Accounts Association sincerely believe that this cannot be the intentions of C&AG authorities but these new instructions will send the wrong message to the Hon’ble Court thereby inviting adverse orders from court against CAG authorities and also dishearten and discourage eligible candidates who are awaiting their promotion as Sr. AO from long time.

        As per revised R.R. of the Sr. AO, the feeder cadre of that post is the AAO with some years’ experience. But there was no such provision of any bench mark of the evaluation test. Hence, the Association condemns the decision of the Examination Wing which is not only arbitrary but also humiliating to the entire cadre of AAOs.

        In view of the above, it is requested that you may kindly intervene into the matter personally and issue urgent advice to the Examination Wing to immediately withdraw the present circular and issue revised circular at par with the Training Wing No.317 dated 19/12/2019.

        Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours faithfully,

Tapas Bose

Secretary General