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Comptroller and Auditor-General

Comptroller and Auditor-General constitutionally appointed by the President. As per Article 127(1) of the Constitution of Bangladesh, the first Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) was appointed on 11 May 1973.

In Indian subcontinent the first comptroller and auditor general was appointed in 1858 by the governor general. Later, according to the amendment of the Constitution made in 1919, the next comptroller and auditor general was appointed by the Secretary of State for India. The overall responsibility and jurisdiction of the comptroller and auditor general is determined by the Government of India Act, 1935. In Pakistan, the post of comptroller and auditor-general was created by the Pakistan (Audit and Accounts) Order 1952, and in accordance with the constitutional rules appended in Articles 191 to 197 of the Constitution of 1962. The responsibility, tenure and conditions of service of this post were specifically pursued.

After the liberation of Bangladesh, the post of the accountant general of East Pakistan under the comptroller and auditor general of Pakistan was transformed into the accountant general of Bangladesh by an order of the budget department of the Ministry of Finance.

According to Article 129 of the Constitution, the CAG will remain in his office till he attains 60 years of age, and cannot be dismissed without the same procedure and reasons adopted in dismissing a Justice of Supreme Court. He may resign from his post by tendering a resignation letter to the President. But after retirement from service, either on completion of tenure of service or resignation or removal, he will not be eligible for any appointment in any post of the republic.

If, at any time, the post of the CAG falls vacant, or if, due to his absence, sickness or any other reason, it appears to the President that the concerned person is unable to perform his task, then the President can appoint any other person as temporary CAG under Article 130 till any new appointment is made under Article 127 of the Constitution. As the holder of a constitutional post, the salary and other benefits of the CAG of Bangladesh is determined by the Comptroller and Auditor General (Salary and Special benefits) Ordinance 1976.

Subject to the provisions of Article 127(2) of the Constitution and any Act passed by the Jatiya Sangsad, the service conditions of the CAG are determined by the President. Moreover, the duties, responsibilities and powers of the CAG in maintaining public accounts and conducting audit of accounts of all government authorities, organisations and local government authorities, have been specifically defined in the Comptroller and Auditor General (Additional functions) Act 1974 and in the Comptroller and Auditor General (Additional functions) Amendment Act 1975.

The CAG conducts the audit through nine separate and self contained audit directorates under the Bangladesh Audit Department. These are : Commercial Audit Directorate; Local and Revenue Audit Directorate; Public Works Audit Directorate; Defence Audit Directorate; Railway Audit Directorate; Post Telegraph and Telephone Audit Directorate; Foreign Aided Project Audit Directorate; Foreign Mission Audit Directorate; and Civil Audit Directorate. The three chief accounts offices which discharge constitutional responsibility regarding the accounts of the republic and who work under the direct supervision and guidance of the CAG are : (a) Accountant General, Civil Accounts, ie co-ordination accounts of the republic; (b) Controller General, Defence Finance Accounts; (c) Additional Director General (Finance) of Bangladesh Railway Accounts.

As per provision of Article 132 of the Constitution, the CAG submits the reports of the accounts of the republic to the President through the proper channel. The President then places them before the Jatiya Sangsad.

The freedom of the CAG in executing his responsibility is approved in accordance with Article 128(4) of the Constitution. But for administrative affairs such as the sanctioning of budget allotments and workers management, he is dependent on the executive department of the government, ie the finance department of the Ministry of Finance. [Mahmudul Huq Bhuiyan]