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Supreme Audit Institution of India
November, 16th 2010

In the Indian polity, we, the Indian Audit and Accounts Department (also known as the Supreme Audit Institution in the international context) are an instrument for ensuring accountability. The Constitution of India has mandated us as the auditors to the nation.

In a democracy, those holding power and positions of responsibility must be answerable for their action. The democratic state has a Social Contract with the citizens and functions on behalf of the people. To ensure that this contract is respected, a democracy provides for several institutional mechanisms like the Judiciary, Vigilance bodies and an independent Supreme Audit Institution (SAI). The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) and the Indian Audit and Accounts Department (IAAD) functioning under him, constitute the Supreme Audit Institution of India. Senior functionaries of the SAI representing the CAG in the state are called Accountants General.

In the Indian system of governance, the policies set by the Parliament and State Legislatures give the goals to be achieved through public spending. These policies are translated into programmes and implemented by various departments of the government. For this, the Parliament sanctions the budget which prescribes how Government will collect money through taxes and how much and for which purposes it shall spend. There are also financial rules which the Government departments and other pubic bodies must follow when they receive and spend public money. The spending departments are accountable to the Parliament for both the quantity and quality of their expenditure. Article 148 to 151 of the Constitution prescribe a unique role for the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in assisting the Parliament to enforce the said accountability of the Government departments.

The SAI of India audits both Central and State Governments and also maintains the accounts of the State Governments.

Our vision, mission & core values

The vision of SAI India represents what we aspire to become We strive to be a global leader and initiator of national and international best practices in public sector auditing and accounting and recognised for independent, credible, balanced and timely reporting on public finance and governance.

Our mission enunciates our current role and describes what we are doing today.

Mandated by the Constitution of India, we promote accountability, transparency and good governance through high quality auditing and accounting and provide independent assurance to our stakeholders the Legislature, the Executive and the Public - that public funds are being used efficiently and for the intended purposes.

Our core values are the guiding beacons for all that we do and give us the benchmarks for assessing our performance

* Independence

* Professional Excellence

* Objectivity

* Transparency

* Integrity

* Positive Approach

* Reliability

What happens to the audit reports?

The reports of the CAG are submitted to the President in case of the Union and to the Governor in case of the State who in turn cause them to be tabled before the House. After tabling in the House, these Reports attracts considerable media and public attention. To sensitise societal groups, media and the academic fraternity of our findings, we also print small booklets. These are designed for wide dissemination and to mould public opinion for a critical appreciation of social sector schemes being implemented by Government. A soft copy of the Report is enclosed in these booklets in a CD.

Once tabled in the House, the Reports stand permanently referred to the Central and State Standing Committees on Public Accounts (PAC)/Committees on Public Undertakings (COPU). These specialised committees have been constituted to facilitate timely and intensive scrutiny of the Annual Accounts and the Audit Reports thereon. The Committees select those findings and recommendations from our reports that they judge to be the most critical to the public interest and arrange for hearings on them. We provide technical assistance to the Committees in this task. At the hearings of the Committees, the executive can be called to account for their actions/inactions. Based on their Examination, the Committees prepare and submit their reports to the Legislature that summarise the Committees hearings, the action taken by the executive and include recommendations to improve administrative practices and procedures.

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