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Auditing watchdog changes format of certifying Govt accounts
February, 23rd 2009

First time since Independence, auditing watchdog CAG has changed the format of certifying the Union Government's accounts, under which it would stop the practice of giving clean chits by describing them as "correct statements of receipts and disbursements".

Instead of certifying government accounts as "correct", the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is now saying that CAG's responsibility is to express an opinion on these accounts based on its audit.

"These accounts are the responsibility of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and the Secretary to the Government of India (GoI), Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these accounts based on our audit," according to the new format issued by CAG after auditing the government accounts for 2007-08.

CGA is the principal accounts advisor to the Centre and is responsible for establishing and maintaining accounting system of the Government.

"It is for the first time that the audit certificate has undergone significant changes since Independence," Additional Deputy CAG A K Awasthi said. He stressed on the need for 'complete restructuring' of government accounts.

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