ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by B P MathurSubscribe to B P Mathur

Transparency in Appointing the CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General is essential in overseeing government finances and ensuring public accountability. Post-independence, public expenditure has increased hundredfold, with no clear accountability structure in place. New regulatory bodies have been created, and a good number of government transactions have been computerised. These developments pose new challenges for public audits, which require the CAG to reinvent itself. This entails more professionalism in its working, wider power delegation, and fundamental reforms in its structural organisation. Our government should not be afraid of such reforms, since conditions have fundamentally changed from when the Constitution came into effect, in 1950.

Maligning the CAG

We are dismayed and distressed at the reported statements by R P Singh, former director general (DG), Telecom Audit which has the potential of undermining the effectiveness and the credibility of the audit department.

The Meaning of the Attack on the CAG

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General is an essential instrument for enforcing the accountability of the executive to Parliament. It is wrong, as in the coal blocks and other recent cases, to cast aspersions on the CAG for pointing out the omissions and commissions of the government. The office of the CAG has done what it is expected to do as a guardian of national finance. Unfortunately the issue has got politicised with the leading opposition party upping the ante. The recent CAG's reports will have served their purpose if attention is drawn to some critical policy issues on the role and conduct of private sector in infrastructure development.

CAG: A Parliamentary Institution

The Comptroller and Auditor General has been called the "most important officer of the Constitution". But now as before - on Bofors in 1989 and in the states as well - the executive loses no opportunity to denigrate the office for its inconvenient findings.

Audit Reports on Disinvestment

The delayed audit reports on disinvestment of public sector undertakings during 1999-2003, submitted by the comptroller and auditor general of India, raise several key issues relating to the modus operandi of a strategic sale and several technical and methodological issues.

Defence Deals: CAG Should Play a Positive Role

Under the Indian Constitution, the CAG acts as a guardian of national finance and it is his responsibility to see that public funds are not misused. If therefore the government wants that CAG clear certain categories of defence deals, the proposal should be welcomed as a significant step towards probity and transparency in procurement. Similarly, if the CAG had adopted a more proactive role and certified the valuation of PSUs before their privatisation under the NDA regime, the public would have been assured that fair returns had been secured in the sale of public assets.

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