NEW DELHI: A parliamentary committee today submitted its report to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan recommending that CAG be made accountable to legislature and the "outdated" Act governing it replaced.
The sub-committee, set up to strengthen the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), with BJP MP Nishikant Dubey as its convenor, has also sought that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) be allowed to "conduct audit of NGOs, any enterprise or programme where government funding is involved, including in government operated agencies like District Rural Development Agencies and Public Private Partnership projects."
It said the PAC, considered the mother of parliamentary committees to keep vigil over the spending and performance of the government, should not only be examining CAG reports but "also select issues suo motu".
It has sought further strengthening of the institution of CAG which audits government departments and institutions.
"The CAG Act, 1971, is totally out of date and needs replacement. A mechanism is also needed for CAG to be responsible before Parliament without the control of Parliament. Its budget grows every year. The appointment of the CAG should be kept outside the exclusive purview of the Executive as suggested also by the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution and CAG should be made accountable to legislature.
"The committee desires that necessary amendments to constitutional provisions to effect these may be considered.
The Committee also desired a revision and amendment of the CAG DPC (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971 to redress shortcomings and meet new challenges in the fast changing realm of governance," it said.
It also suggested that the Chairpersons of the central and state PACs "should be given status of Union Cabinet and state Cabinet Minister" respectively.
The committee, with MPs Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) and Bhubaneswar Kalita (Congress) as its members, has also sought that former and present officials should be called as witness before the PAC in order to understand critical aspects of a matter under examination.
"For this, retired officials should also be made liable to appear before PAC," it said in its 27-point recommendations, adding the high-level panel should "exercise power" to recommend censure or impose harsher penalties on erring officials.