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Question #

Exercise of CAG's powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit of the Government's policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG) jurisdiction.

ChatGPT Answer #

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is responsible for auditing the accounts of both the Union Government and the State Governments. The powers and functions of the CAG are derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution, which grants it the authority to audit all receipts and expenditures of the government.

While the primary role of the CAG is to ensure financial accountability and transparency, it also has the power to evaluate the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the implementation of government policies and programs. This includes assessing whether the intended policy objectives are being achieved and if the government's resources are being utilized optimally.

The question of whether the audit of the government's policy implementation could amount to overstepping the CAG's jurisdiction depends on the interpretation of its roles and powers. Some argue that auditing policy implementation goes beyond the CAG's mandate as it delves into the realm of policy formulation, which falls under the exclusive domain of the executive or legislature.

However, others contend that evaluating policy implementation is an essential aspect of the CAG's duty to ensure accountability and effectiveness in the use of public resources. They argue that the CAG has the right to assess the outcomes of government policies to determine if they are achieving their intended goals and if taxpayer money is being spent wisely.

In practice, the CAG has commonly conducted performance audits that evaluate policy implementation. These audits focus on assessing the outcomes, impacts, and effectiveness of various government programs. They help identify weaknesses, inefficiencies, or discrepancies in policy implementation, providing valuable insights for improving governance and public administration.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that the CAG's power to audit policy implementation does not extend to questioning policy choices or evaluating their merit. The CAG's role is limited to assessing whether the policies are being implemented effectively and efficiently, without interfering in the policy-making process itself.

In conclusion, although some may argue that the audit of government policy implementation could be seen as overstepping the CAG's jurisdiction, it is generally accepted that such audits are within the scope of its powers and duties. The CAG's role in evaluating policy implementation contributes to ensuring transparency, accountability, and the optimal use of public resources without encroaching upon the policy-making authority of the executive or legislature.

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