The 47th Civil Accounts Day will be celebrated on March 1st at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi to commemorate the foundation of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS). The event will be graced by the Union Minister of State for Finance Shri. Pankaj Chaudhary and Union Finance Secretary Dr. T.V. Somanathan.
The ICAS was established in 1976, following a significant reform in public financial administration. This led to the separation of accounts of the Union Government from that of Audit, which was previously under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Two ordinances were promulgated in March 1976 to initiate the process of separation of accounts from audit and pave the way for departmentalized accounts. Since then, the organization celebrates its foundation day on 1st March every year.
The Controller General of Accounts serves as the Principal Accounting Advisor to the Government of India and oversees the payment and accounting system of the country. The organization ensures financial accountability through accounts and assists the executive in making informed decisions. The ICAS has grown in stature over the years and now plays a crucial role in strengthening governance through excellence in the management of public finances of the Union Government.
The mission of the organization is to administer an effective, credible, and responsive system for budgeting, payment, accounting, and pension disbursements, and provide a world-class and robust Government-wide integrated financial information system & Decision Support System (DSS) in the Ministries.
The Civil Accounts Organisation has come a long way from manual to electronic systems. The Public Financial Management System (PFMS), a web-based portal that started as a Plan Scheme Monitoring System, has now expanded to cover various dimensions of the Public Financial Management of the Government.
The Public Financial Management System has emerged as a major enabler of public financial management reform in the country. It has ensured the integration of daily, monthly, and annual accounting processes for real-time value-added financial reporting of the Union Government and has facilitated the formulation of Government policies/programs and their execution.
The PFMS has reformed the cash and debt management of the country through its new initiatives, such as the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) System for other central expenditures, Single Nodal Agency (SNA) for Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Central Nodal Agency (CNA) mechanism for Central Sector Scheme. The staggered and “just in time” release of money has improved cash management in the country and helped reduce the cost of borrowing.
PFMS has ensured integration and streamlining of fund flow from Central and State Governments and to the implementing agencies, ensuring better delivery of end outcomes in the schemes.
The revision of Receipt and Payment Rules has facilitated the implementation of the e-bill system, the implementation of the Treasury Single Accounts System, and the modification of funds flow in Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes, which has re-engineered the financial administration of the schemes and ensured transparency and accountability in the system. The internal audit function performed by the Civil Accounts Organisation adds value to the executive wing through a systematic evaluation of processes and systems and helps in strengthening controls in the organization.