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

Articles By 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.

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.