The Comptroller & Auditor General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971 defines functions and powers in detail. The relevant provisions are discussed hereunder :—
Duties of the C & AG :
1. Compile and submit Accounts of Union and States – The Comptroller and Auditor General shall be responsible for compiling the accounts of the Union and of each State from the initial and subsidiary accounts rendered to the audit and accounts offices under his control by treasuries, offices or departments responsible for the keeping of such account. The Comptroller and Auditor General shall, from the accounts compiled by him or [by the Government or any other person responsible in that behalf] prepare in each accounts (including, in the case of accounts compiled by him, appropriation accounts) showing under the respective heads the annual receipts and disbursements for the purpose of the Union, of each State and of each Union Territory having a
Legislative Assembly, and shall submit those accounts to the President or the Governor of a State or Administrator of the Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly, as the case may be, on or before such dates as he may, with the concurrence of the Government concerned, determine. The C & AG Act of 1971 has provisions for relieving him of this responsibility to give information and render assistance to the Union and States : The Comptroller and Auditor General shall, in so far as the accounts, for the compilation or keeping of which he is responsible, enable him so to do, give to the Union Government, to the State Government or to the Governments of Union Territories having Legislative Assemblies, as the case may be, such information as they may, from time to time, require and render such assistance in the preparation of the annual financial statements as they may reasonably ask for.
2. General Provisions Relating to Audit – It shall be the duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General—
- to audit and report on all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India and of each State and of each Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly and to ascertain whether the moneys shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for and applicable to the service or purpose to which they have been applied or charged and whether the expenditure conforms to the authority which governs it;
- to audit and report all transactions of the Union and of the States relating to Contingency Funds and Public Accounts;
- to audit and report on all trading, manufacturing profit and loss accounts and balancesheets and other subsidiary accounts kept in any department of the Union or of a State.
3. Audit of Receipts and Expenditure – Where any body or authority is substantially financed by grants or loans from the Consolidated Fund of India or of any State or of any Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly, the Comptroller and Auditor General shall, subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force applicable to the body or authority, as the case may be, audit all receipts and expenditure of that body or authority and to report on the receipts and expenditure audited by him. Where the grant or loan to a body or authority from the Consolidated Fund of India or of any State or of any Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly in a financial year is not less than rupees twenty-five lakhs and the amount of such grant or loan is not less than seventy-five per cent of the total expenditure of that body or authority, such body or authority shall be deemed, for this purpose to be substantially financed by such grants or loans as the case may be.
4. Audit of Grants or Loans – Where any grant or loan is given for any specific purpose from the Consolidated Fund of India or of any State or of any Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly to any authority or body, not being a foreign State or international organisation, the Comptroller and Auditor General shall scrutinise the procedures by which the sanctioning authority satisfies itself as to the fulfillment of the conditions subject to which such grants or loans were given and shall for this purpose have right of access, after giving reasonable previous notice, to the books and accounts of that authority or body.
5. Audit of Receipts of Union or States – It shall be the duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General to audit all receipts which are payable into the Consolidated Fund of India and of each State and of each Union Territory having a Legislative Assembly and to satisfy himself that the rules and procedures in that behalf are designed to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of revenue and are being duly observed and to make for this purpose such examination of the accounts as he thinks fit and report thereon.
6. Audit of Accounts of Stores and Stock – The Comptroller and Auditor General shall have authority to audit and report on the accounts of stores and stock kept in any office or department of the Union or of a State.
7. Audit of Government Companies and Corporations – The duties and powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General in relation to the audit of the accounts of government companies shall be performed and exercised by him in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.
Powers of C & AG
The C & AG Act gives the following powers to the C & AG in connection with the performance of his duties :
- To inspect any office of accounts under the control of the Union or a State Government including office responsible for the creation of the initial or subsidiary accounts.
- To require that any accounts, books papers and other documents which deal with or are otherwise relevant to the transactions under audit, be sent to specified places.
- To put such questions or make such observations as he may consider necessary to the person in charge of the office and to call for such information as he may require for the preparation of any account or report which it is his duty to prepare. In carrying out the audit, the C & AG has the power to dispense with any part of detailed audit of any accounts or class of transactions and to apply such limited checks in relation to such accounts or transactions as he may determine.