Which parliamentary committee scrutinizes the report of Comptroller and Auditor General (C & AG) of India?
The following organizations are subject to the audit of the C & AG
- All the Union and State Government departments and offices including the Indian Railways and Posts and Telecommunications
- Government companies and corporations.
- Non-commercial autonomous bodies and authorities owned or controlled by the Union or the States.
- Authorities and bodies substantially financed from Union or State revenues
The parliament has the responsibility of scrutiny of the Annual accounts and audit reports. Since this is a gigantic task as it involves diverse and specialized nature and may waste a lot of time of parliament, the job has been assigned to specialized Committees viz. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU). The audit Reports and Annual Accounts automatically stand referred to these committees.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) :
The public Account committee consists of 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha. 7 members of Rajya Sabha are associated with this committee. The life of this committee is 1 year. A Minister is not eligible to be elected as member of this committee. The main duty of this committee is to ascertain that the money granted by the parliament has been spent by the Government is “within the scope of the demand”. The basis of this examination for this committee is appropriation accounts of Government of India and Audit Report presented by the Comptroller and auditor general of India. Please note that this committee has not concerns about the policy and is concerned about only the execution of the policy and its results.
The Public Accounts Committee satisfies itself that the moneys (shown in the accounts) were disbursed legally on the service or purpose to which they were applied, that the expenditure was authorized and about re-appropriation.
The Public Accounts Committee also examines 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 (COPA)
The committee on Public Undertakings consists of 22 members (15 from Lok Sabha & 7 from Rajya Sabha) . The life of this committee is also 1 year. The functions of the COPA is very similar to PAC. The difference is that while PAC exercises financial control over government departments , the COPA exercises the same functions on the public sector undertakings.
The functions of COPA are:
- To examine the reports and accounts of public undertakings
- To examine the reports of the Comptroller & Auditor General on public undertakings.
- To examine the efficiency of public undertakings and to see whether they are being managed in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices.