Roll of CAG Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Audit Jurisdiction

The organisations subject to the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India are:-


  • All the Union and State Government departments and offices including the Indian Railways and Posts and Telecommunications.
  • About 1500 public commercial enterprises controlled by the Union and State governments, i.e. government companies and corporations.
  • Around 400 non-commercial autonomous bodies and authorities owned or controlled by the Union or the States.
  • Over 4400 authorities and bodies substantially financed from Union or State revenues

Audit of Government Companies (Commercial Audit)

There is a special arrangement for the audit of companies where the equity participation by Government is 51 percent or more. The primary auditors of these companies are Chartered Accountants, appointed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who gives the directions to the auditors on the manner in which the audit should be conducted by them. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is also empowered to comment upon the audit reports of the primary auditors. In addition, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India conducts a test audit of the accounts of such companies and reports the results of his audit to Parliament and State Legislatures.

Audit Board Setup in Commercial Audit

A unique feature of the audit conducted by the Indian Audit and Accounts Department is the constitution of Audit Boards for conducting comprehensive audit appraisals of the working of Public Sector Enterprises engaged in diverse sectors of the economy. 

These Audit Boards associate with them experts in disciplines relevant to the appraisals. They discuss their findings and conclusions with the managements of the enterprises and their controlling ministries and departments of government to ascertain their view points before finalisation. 

The results of such comprehensive appraisals are incorporated by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his reports

Nature of Audit

While fulfilling his Constitutional obligations, the Comptroller & Auditor General examines various aspects of Government expenditure. The audit done by C&A G is broadly classified into Regularity Audit and Performance Audit.

Regularity Audit (Compliance)

  • Audit against provision of funds to ascertain whether the moneys shown as expenditure in the Accounts were authorised for the purpose for which they were spent.
  • Audit against rules and regulation to see that the expenditure incurred was in conformity with the laws, rules and regulations framed to regulate the procedure for expending public money.
  • Audit of sanctions to expenditure to see that every item of expenditure was done with the approval of the competent authority in the Government for expending the public money.
  • Propriety Audit which extends beyond scrutinising the mere formality of expenditure to it wisdom and economy and to bring to light cases of improper expenditure or waste of public money.
  • While conducting the audit of receipts of the Central and State Governments, the Comptroller & Auditor General satisfies himself that the rules and procedures ensure that assessment, collection and allocation of revenue are done in accordance with the law and there is no leakage of revenue which legally should come to Government.

Performance Audit

Performance audit to see that Government programmes have achieved the desired objectives at lowest cost and given the intended benefits. For a complete list of Performance Appraisals since 1983 

Regularity Audit (Financial)

In regularity (financial) audit and in other types of audit when applicable, auditors should  analyse the financial statements to establish whether acceptable accounting    standards for financial reporting and disclosure are complied with. Analysis of financial statements should be performed to such a degree that a rational basis is obtained to express an opinion on financial statements.

Action on Audit Reports

 The scrutiny of the Annual Accounts and the Audit Reports thereon by the Parliament as a whole would be an arduous task, considering their diverse and specialised nature, besides imposing excessive demands on the limited time available to the Parliament for discussion of issues of national importance. Therefore the Parliament and the State Legislatures have, for this purpose, constituted specialized Committees like the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU), to which these audit Reports and Annual Accounts automatically stand referred.

Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee satisfies itself:-

 a.that the moneys (shown in the accounts) were disbursed legally on the service or     purpose to which they were applied.

 b.that the expenditure was authorised.

 c.that re-appropriation (i.e. distribution of funds.

It is also the duty of the PAC to examine the statement of accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, the audit of which is conducted by the Comptroller & Auditor General either under the directions of the President or by a Statute of Parliament.

Committee on Public Undertakings

The Committee on Public Undertakings exercises the same financial control on the public sector undertakings as the Public Accounts Committee exercises over the functioning of the Government Departments. The functions of the Committee are:- examine the reports and accounts of public undertakings. examine the reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General on public undertakings. examine the efficiency of public undertakings and to see whether they are being     managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices. 

The examination of public enterprises by the Committee takes the form of comprehensive appraisal or evaluation of performance of the undertaking. It involves a thorough examination,including evaluation of the policies, programmes and financial working of the undertaking.

The objective of the Financial Committees, in doing so, is not to focus only on the individual irregularity, but on the defects in the system which led to such irregularity, and the need for correction of such systems and procedures.

CAG’s Role

The Comptroller & Auditor General of India plays a key role in the functioning of the financial committees of Parliament and the State Legislatures. He has come to be recognised as a ‘friend, philosopher and guide’ of the Committee. His Reports generally form the basis of the Committees’ working, although they are not precluded from examining issues not brought out in his Reports. He scrutinises the notes which the Ministries submit to the Committees and helps the Committees to check the correctness submit to the Committees and helps the Committees to check the correctness of facts and figures in their draft reports.

The Financial Committees present their Report to the Parliament/ State Legislature with their observations and recommendations. The various Ministries / Department of the Government are required to inform the Committees of the action taken by them on the recommendations of the Committees (which are generally accepted) and the Committees present Action Taken Reports to Parliament / Legislature.

In respect of those cases in Audit Reports, which could not be discussed in detail by the Committees, written answers are obtained from the Department / Ministry concerned and are sometimes incorporated in the Reports presented to the Parliament / State Legislature. This ensures that the audit Reports are not taken lightly by the Government, even if the entire report is not deliberated upon by the Committee.


The Union Audit Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, contain the findings of transaction audit and performance audit in the areas of:

  • Civil Audit
  • Audit of Autonomous Bodies
  • Defense Services
  • Railways
  • Receipts of the Government
  • Central Commercial

The Audit of the CAG is bifurcated into two streams namely Performance Audit and Regularity (Compliance) Audit.


While audit of the Civil Departments, Railways and Defense are conducted as per the direct mandate in the constitution and relevant provisions of the DPC Act, the Commercial Audit is conducted under the provisions of Company Act. Autonomous Bodies are audited as per the mandate in the act establishing the body.


The reports of the CAG are deliberated upon by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament, save the commercial reports which are examined by the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU).