Preface to First Edition (1994)

The Institution of Government Audit in India has a history of about 140 years. Initially, audit was confined to a check of financial statements and regularity of transactions. Over the years it has been extended to cover financial management and performance. Tax and other receipts of the Central and State Governments, Central and State Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies and Authorities receiving grants and loans from Government have also been brought under the purview of Government Audit. Efficiency, economy and effectiveness of programmes, projects and organisations are now evaluated.

Government budget and accounts are not mere financial statements. In the context of a welfare State, these reflect the goals of development of the nation. Critical analysis of revenues, consumption expenditure, savings, public debt, capital expenditure and returns therefrom, becomes not only the responsibility of administration, but also of Audit. Efficient financial control also requires concurrent internal check and audit, which would greatly facilitate independent external audit being done more reliably and quickly and at lesser cost. Auditors do not work in isolation and meaningful interaction between them and the administrators and the managers of public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies and authorities is necessary.

Government auditors have to equip themselves adequately with the conceptual skills necessary for their tasks. In this context, the Auditing Standards prescribe the norms of basic principles and practices which Government auditors are expected to follow. The Standards have to be supplemented by the guidelines contained in the manuals of Standing Orders and other Manuals governing the work in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. These are not in any way to affect the constitutional and legal provisions governing the duties and powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The Standards may require modification, from time to time, in the light of professional developments and changes in the legal framework.

Comptroller & Auditor General of India

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