We reproduce here a resume that Sunder prepared in hopes of applying for a post-retirement job. But he decided instead to accompany me on my travels, first to Oxford and then to New York, which meant that he pretty much had to forego those plans. The resume reflects something of the scope and extent of the duties of a typical Indian civil servant—and Sunder’s typical exactitude in rendering an account.
N. Sunder Rajan
Brief Description of Career Profile
I was appointed to the Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IAAS) in July 1967 on successfully competing in the Combined All India Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, the Federal Constitutional authority responsible for recruitment of personnel to senior administrative, managerial and technical positions in the Federal Government. Officers of the IAAS function independently under the direct control and supervision of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the constitutional authority responsible for the auditing and accounting of the financial transactions of the federal and provincial governments, parastatals, autonomous organizations funded by these governments, etc. and for assisting the Legislatures in enforcing executive accountability.
I superannuated from the service of the Federal Government in June 2003, when I held the post of Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, the highest position within the Indian Audit and Accounts Department that members of the Service can aspire to and equivalent to that of a Permanent Secretary to the Government of India.
During my career spanning a period of 36 years, I functioned in various capacities in the field offices of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department located in different states and also overseas and in the Headquarters Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General. I was then responsible for (a) the auditing of the transactions, activities and performance of the federal and various provincial government departments, parastatals, autonomous and non-governmental organizations funded by these governments, welfare and developmental schemes and programmes undertaken by the governments including those funded by external assistance, etc.; and (b) compilation, collation and maintenance of the accounts of some of the provincial governments and authorisation of the compensation packages of their employees. Besides, in recognition of the specialized skills acquired by me in the in-depth scrutiny of accounts and the related documentation, appraisal, evaluation and impact assessment of various welfare and developmental activities and programmes undertaken by the governments, preparation of reports, etc., I was also seconded on assignments to the Secretariat of the Indian Parliament, the Ministries of Finance and of Tourism & Civil Aviation of the Government of India and the Secretariat of the Fifth Central Pay Commission appointed by the Government of India to determine the compensation packages and conditions of service of employees of the federal ministries and departments, the railways and armed forces personnel.
Posts Held and Functional Responsibilities
January 2003 – May 2003 Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Accounts & Local Bodies), Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi
* Provision of advice on the form of accounts to be maintained by the Union and the States in conformity with the Constitutional provisions.
* Determination, for the guidance of government departments, the general principles of government accounting and their periodical review.
* Formulation of policies relating to the maintenance of accounts of the federal and provincial governments.
* Formulation of uniform accounting policies and formats to be adopted by local bodies (Panchayats, Municipalities, Corporations, etc.) in the provinces following the devolution of financial powers to these local bodies.
*Preparation of modules for the training of personnel of local bodies to facilitate adoption of these uniform accounting policies and formats.
* Monitoring of the introduction of Voucher Level Computerisation in the Accounts and Entitlements Offices of the Comptroller and Auditor General spread across the country in all its provinces.
* Overall supervision of the Accounts and Entitlements Offices.
I also functioned as the Chairperson of the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board for the Union and the States (GASAB) constituted by Government to establish and improve standards of government accounting and financial reporting and enhance accountability mechanisms. The Board, comprising the Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, Controller General of Accounts, Controller General of Defence Accounts, Financial Commissioner, Railways, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India or his nominee, Director General, National Council of Applied Economic Research, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Principal Finance Secretaries of four States appointed by annual rotation and the Principal Director (Accounts) in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India as its Member-Secretary, is responsible for:
(i) formulating and proposing standards that improve the usefulness of financial reports based on the needs of their users;
(ii) maintaining these standards current so as to reflect changes in the governmental environment;
(iii) providing guidance on implementation of standards;
(iv) considering significant areas of accounting and financial reporting that can be improved through the standard-setting process; and
(v) improving the common understanding of the nature and purpose of the information contained in the financial reports.
April 2002 – December 2002 Additional Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi
July 2001 – March 2002 Officer on Special Duty, Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, New Delhi
May 1997 – June 2001 Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, New Delhi
Responsible for implementation of the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in the communications sector.
July 1994 – April 1997 Joint Secretary, Fifth Central Pay Commission
The Commission was appointed by the Government of India to determine the compensation packages and conditions of service of employees of central government ministries and departments, the railways and armed forces personnel.
September 1993 – June 1994 Principal Director of Commercial Audit and Ex-Officio Member Audit Board, New Delhi
My responsibilities in this position included:
* audit, supplement to that conducted by the primary auditors (Chartered Accountants) appointed by the Federal Government on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor General, and review of the activities and performance, including preparation of reports thereon for submission to Parliament, of public sector commercial enterprises (parastatals) owned and controlled by the Federal Government in:
– the civil aviation sector [Indian Airlines Limited, Airline and Allied Services Limited, Vayudoot Limited, Helicopter Corporation of India Limited, International Airports Authority of India and the National Airports Authority]; and
– the state trading and housing sectors [State Trading Corporation Limited, Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited and Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited];
– and those engaged in provision of consultancy and other services [Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (India) Limited, Educational Consultants India Limited, Engineers India Limited, Engineering Projects (India) limited, Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Computer Maintenance Corporation Limited, Container Corporation of India Limited, etc.];
* certification, on behalf of the Comptroller and Auditor General, of the Annual Accounts of these enterprises, containing among others comments on the reports of the primary auditors; and
* comprehensive appraisals of the functioning and performance of selected enterprises under my jurisdiction for consideration of the Audit Boards.
A unique feature of the audit conducted by the Indian Audit and Accounts Department is the constitution of Audit Boards for conducting comprehensive appraisals of the functioning and performance of the federal parastatals engaged in diverse sectors of the economy. These Audit Boards, chaired by the Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Commercial) and comprising specified Principal Directors of Commercial Audit nominated as ex-officio members, associate with them external experts in disciplines of relevance to the appraisals undertaken by them. The Boards discuss their audit findings and conclusions with the managements of the enterprises concerned and also with their administrative ministries and departments of government in order to ascertain their views and clarifications prior to finalisation of the appraisals for inclusion in the relevant Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General for submission to Parliament. As one of the Principal Directors, I was nominated as the ex-officio member of two Audit Boards.
May 1991 – August 1993 Principal Director (Reports-States), Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi
I was one of the two Principal Directors in the headquarters office responsible for the finalization of the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the accounts, activities, schemes and projects, functioning and performance of the provincial governments intended for presentation to the State Legislatures. My duties involved inter alia an independent and objective scrutiny of the audit observations and performance reviews proposed for inclusion in the respective reports by the Accountants General (Heads of the provincial audit offices) in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab and West Bengal in order to assess and determine the appropriateness and sustainability of the audit observations and conclusions, their logic and reasoning, adequacy of the audit evidence, etc.
December 1989 – April 1991 Accountant General (Audit) – II, Rajasthan, Jaipur
As Head of one of the provincial audit offices, was responsible for the audit of and reporting on:
* the transactions, schemes and projects of the public sector commercial enterprises of the State Government and its departmentally-managed commercial undertakings, including certification of their annual accounts;
* expenditure on public works and irrigation projects implemented in the State and their impact and effectiveness;
* revenues collected by different State Government departments under various provisions of the Finance Acts promulgated by the provincial government and regulations framed thereunder; and
* revenues accruing in the State under various provisions of the Federal Finance Acts promulgated by the Union Government and regulations framed thereunder.
I also assisted the Public Accounts Committee and Public Undertakings Committee of the State Legislature in their scrutiny and review of the financial transactions, functioning and performance of the state government departments and state-owned commercial enterprises under my audit jurisdiction and the welfare and developmental and welfare programmes implemented by them.
September 1987 – November 1989 Accountant General (Accounts & Entitlements), Rajasthan, Jaipur
As Head of one of the provincial accounts and entitlements offices, my responsibilities included:
* compilation and consolidation of monthly accounts of the expenditure and receipts of the State Government of Rajasthan;
* preparation of the Annual Finance and Appropriation Accounts of the provincial government for submission to the Legislature;
* accounting of transactions of the departments of the federal government arising in the State for the purpose of their consolidation and inclusion in the Finance Accounts of the Union Government prepared by the Controller General of Accounts;
* maintenance of the Provident Fund accounts of State Government employees;
* maintenance of accounts of long-term advances granted by the provincial government to its employees;
* settlement of inter-government transactions; and
* inspection of treasuries.
I was also responsible for administration of the cadre of Divisional Accountants who function as the Financial Advisers to the State Public Works, Irrigation and Public Health Divisions.
In addition, I was the Director of the Regional Training Institute of the Department in Jaipur.
September 1982 – August 1987 Director (Finance), Government of India, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, New Delhi
On secondment to the Ministry under the Central Staffing Scheme, my responsibilities as its Deputy Financial Adviser included:
* scrutiny and approval of expenditure proposals falling within the Ministry’s delegated powers;
* scrutiny, financial analysis and monitoring of the plans and programmes in the civil aviation sector;
* preparation of the Five Year and Annual Plans of the civil aviation sector and review of their implementation;
appraisal of economic and financial viability of infrastructure and other projects, such as construction, development and/or expansion of airports, modernisation of air traffic control facilities, construction of hotels, etc. initiated and implemented by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Directorate of Civil Aviation Security, Air India, Indian Airlines, International Airports Authority of India, the National Airports Authority, Hotel Corporation of India, etc. under the Ministry’s administrative control;
*scrutiny of investment proposals for acquisition of aircraft, helicopters, etc. as well as finalization of financing arrangements for such acquisitions;
* provision of assistance to the financial committees of the Government of India in the scrutiny and appraisal of various investment proposals related to the sector and coming within the purview of their respective delegated powers;
* restructuring of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation as a statutory entity (National Airports Authority);
* creation and establishment of new parastatals and autonomous bodies in the aviation sector, such as the Helicopter Corporation of India Limited and the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, and determination of the compensation packages of their employees;
* scrutiny of wage agreements entered into by parastatals in the civil aviation and tourism sectors with their unionised and non-unionised categories of employees, including executives;
* formulation of productivity-linked bonus and incentive schemes for employees of parastatals in the sector.
I also functioned as the Convenor and Member-Secretary of an Expert Group constituted by the Ministry to examine the feasibility of merging the resources of the two national carriers (Air India and Indian Airlines) with the objective of optimising the utilisation of equipment and manpower resources with the ultimate aim of merging the two airlines into a single entity. The study by the Group resulted in the projection of various alternatives of restructuring the two carriers.
During this period, I was also the Government Director on the Boards of Hotel Corporation of India Limited, Vayudoot Limited (jointly owned by Air India and Indian Airlines) and Airline and Allied Services Limited (a subsidiary of Indian Airlines). I was also appointed as the Finance Member on the Governing Bodies of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, an autonomous body created jointly by the Department of Meteorology and the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
May 1982 – August 1982 Senior Deputy Accountant General (Accounts & Entitlements), Office of the Accountant General, Kerala, Trivandrum
During this period, I was the Supervisory Officer of the Accounts & Entitlements Groups in the provincial Audit & Accounts Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the State of Kerala handling the compilation and consolidation of the accounts of the provincial government; preparation of its Finance and Appropriation Accounts; maintenance of the accounts of the entitlements and benefits of its employees, such as provident fund, pensions, long-term loans and advances, etc.; verification and authorisation of their pension claims and other retirement benefits, etc. The appointment lasted only for a very brief period because I was seconded, on deputation, in the meantime to the Federal Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation.
January 1980 – March 1982 Director of Audit, Indian Accounts, Washington D.C., USA
As Head of the overseas audit office of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the United States of America, my responsibilities extended, among others, to the audit of:
(i) transactions entered into by the Indian missions in the Americas;
(ii) documents relating to the leasing, purchase and utilization of properties for the Government of India by the Missions in the two continents;
(iii) contracts for supplies entered into on behalf of the Railways, Defence establishments, Department of Space and other government departments by the India Supply Mission in Washington;
(iv) entitlements and personal claims of the officers in the missions;
(v) foreign branches of the central parastatals, such as Air India Limited, State Trading Corporation Limited, Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, India Investment Centre, etc., in North and South America; and
(vi) liaison and coordination with the US General Accounting Office in respect of issues of mutual interest and human resources development.
April 1978 – December 1979 Joint Director, Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi
As one of the Staff Officers of the Comptroller and Auditor General in his headquarters office, I was responsible for:
* preparation of the Annual Budget of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and its administration;
* scrutiny of proposals received from all the field offices of the department for allocation of resources;
* examination and approval of proposals received from them for the provision of additional manpower resources;
* appraisal of proposals for the construction/acquisition/leasing of office and residential accommodation;
* review of the efficient utilisation of the human and other resources by the field offices;
* effective implementation of economy measures introduced by the Finance Ministry and also independently by the Department itself.
* the orderly conduct of all the departmental examinations required to be negotiated by different categories of personnel for their career advancement, involving the selection and appointment of paper setters, examiners and moderators; scrutiny of question papers on a large variety of subjects so as to ensure their conformity to the prescribed syllabi and correctness and accuracy of facts and figures in papers on practical subjects; printing of question papers and their despatch to examination centres spread all over the country ensuring secrecy; despatch of answer books to examiners appointed for the purpose; tabulation of results and their declaration, etc.; and
* processing of complaints received from stakeholders in regard to their personal claims so as to act as the interface between them, the field offices concerned and the Comptroller and Auditor General.
July 1977 – March 1978 Deputy Director, Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, New Delhi
As one of the middle level officers in the headquarters office responsible for the finalization of the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General relating to the provincial governments intended for presentation to the State Legislatures, I was involved in the examination and evaluation of the audit observations and performance reviews proposed for inclusion in the respective reports by the Heads of the provincial audit offices concerned on the finances, activities, and individual transactions of the departments of the provincial governments of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala and the commercial enterprises wholly or substantially owned by them and on the welfare and developmental projects and schemes implemented by these governments and enterprises.
Was also additionally responsible for the finalization of the Annual Budget of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and its administration; and scrutiny and submission for final approval of the competent authorities of the proposals received from all the field offices for allocation of resources and provision of additional manpower resources.
July 1974 – June 1977 Under Secretary / Deputy Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi
As Under Secretary, and on subsequent promotion as Deputy Secretary, in the Secretariat of the Indian Parliament, I assisted the Central Public Accounts Committee (comprising members of the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament) in its examination and scrutiny of various reports presented to Parliament by the Comptroller and Auditor General and also of issues taken up suo motu for examination. This involved:
• research into the subjects and issues involved;
• collection of relevant information from the ministries and departments concerned as well as other external sources and its analysis;
• preparation of briefs and questionnaires for use by the Committee;
• assistance to the Committee in the course of its examination of the ministries, departments and other agencies concerned;
• drafting of the Committee’s reports containing its recommendations based on an in-depth analysis of the evidence for submission to Parliament and follow-up action by the executive ministry/department concerned.
Issues taken up for examination (with which I was centrally involved, providing the necessary interface between the Committee and the Audit Office and the ministries and departments) covered the entire gamut of the federal government’s functioning and performance, including, among others, its financial position, budgetary performance, fiscal management, efficacy of revenue collection agencies, debt management, performance of individual ministries and departments, implementation and impact of various welfare and developmental schemes, efficacy and economics of the systems and procedures for defence and other purchases, outcome of research and development activities and programmes, etc.
During the three-year period, I personally prepared and finalized for the Committee’s consideration and approval as many as 137 reports. These covered a wide range of subjects, such as the impact and effectiveness of:
(i) rural development programmes introduced with the objective of generating employment opportunities for the rural populace and creating durable assets;
(ii) plan schemes implemented in sectors such as education, health, child development, women’s welfare, public works, irrigation, infrastructure development, etc.
(iii) measures initiated for increasing agricultural production in the country;
(iv) programmes launched for development of a network of highways to provide the necessary impetus for economic development;
(v) schemes aimed at providing relief from natural calamities;
(vi) incentive schemes launched for promotion of exports and augmentation of foreign exchange reserves and their administration;
(vii) revenue augmentation measures;
(viii) fiscal management;
(ix) research and development schemes for design and manufacture of aircraft, aero engines, defence equipment, ammunition, etc. for improving indigenous capabilities and reducing dependence on imports;
(x) systems and procedures for collaboration in research projects with foreign agencies.
The coverage indicated is only illustrative and not exhaustive. The then members of the Committee being known and recognized for their personal stature, commitment and contribution, more than ordinary efforts and significant original contribution were necessary on my part to meet their exacting standards and requirements. This assignment also provided me with valuable insights into the entire functioning of the federal government and the complexities involved in governance that stood me in good stead in my subsequent career in government.
March 1973 – June 1974 Deputy Chief Auditor, Western Railway, Bombay
The audit office was entrusted with the audit and review of the transactions, revenues, projects, and performance of one of then existing nine Zonal Railways in the country. As the deputy head of the office, my responsibilities included, among others:
* preparation of the annual and quarterly audit plans;
* identification and selection of issues and areas for comprehensive performance review;
* determination and dissemination of the audit approach and methodology to be adopted by the Audit Teams and review of their performance;
* independent audit of specified transactions and activities;
* reporting to the headquarters office of significant findings of audit and results of reviews for inclusion in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report to Parliament on the Railways; and
* supervision and management of the personnel of the Audit Office distributed in the Divisions of the Zonal Railway spread over four provinces.
The audit activities extended to areas such as projects for construction of new railway lines, gauge conversion and doubling, track maintenance, purchase and utilisation of rolling stock and other stores, economics and profitability of operations, manpower utilisation, systems and procedures for revenue collection, etc.
May 1971 – February 1973 Deputy Accountant General, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair
Was entrusted with the responsibility of establishing a new regional audit and accounts office in the remote and not easily accessible Andaman and Nicobar Islands to handle the audit of all activities and transactions of the Union Territory administration, maintenance of its accounts and the processing and authorisation of the entitlements and personal claims of its employees. Was the Head of the office and the assignment also involved active and close liaison with the local administration, the Central Public Works Department and the headquarters office on matters relating to allotment of land for the office building and residential quarters, designing and finalization of the layout of the office premises and residences, estimation of funding requirements, allocation of resources, etc. so as to ensure that the new office was functional, in all respects, in the least possible time.
July 1969 – April 1971 Assistant Accountant General, Office of the Accountant General, Tamil Nadu, Madras
The post of Assistant Accountant General represents the entry-level independent position in the Service to which its members are appointed on completion of the prescribed probationary training. Was posted, by rotation, as the Branch Officer of a group of 3 to 4 sections (each comprising 8 to 10 personnel) involved in accounting, authorisation of entitlements of the State and Central Government employees in the province, etc. and also as the supervisory officer (leader) of peripatetic inspection parties involved in the audit of government departments and offices.
During this period, the provincial government of Tamil Nadu had also appointed a Pay Commission to determine the compensation packages of its employees. The office of the Accountant General was required to undertake an independent examination of the correctness and implications of the orders issued by the provincial government in pursuance of the recommendations of the Commission and to accept them in audit prior to authorising the revised entitlements based on these orders. I was entrusted the responsibility of examination of these orders, in consultation with the provincial government, having regard to various financial rules and regulations. As a result of my examination, a number of orders were revised or modified by the government so as to conform to the rules and regulations.
July 1967 – June 1969 Probationary Officer of the IAAS
During this period, attended, as part of the training curriculum for members of the Service:
(a) a Foundation Course in various aspects of public administration, governance, the Indian Constitution, Law, etc. in the National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, along with members of various other All India and Central Services recruited through the Combined Civil Services Examination;
(b) the training programme specific to the members of my Service covering subjects such as Accountancy, Costing, Auditing, Government Financial and Accounting Rules and Regulations, Reporting, etc. in the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, Simla; and
(c) on-the-job practical training in one of the provincial audit and accounts offices (Office of the Accountant General, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad).
The on-the-job practical training also involved audit of various federal and provincial government departments as a member of audit inspection teams and attachment with firms of chartered accountants (Fraser & Ross, Brahmayya & Co. and Dandekar & Co.) entrusted with the audit of government commercial enterprises, also as one of the members of their audit teams.
Contribution to Training and Human Resource Development Efforts
Apart from functioning as the Director of one of the Regional Training Institutes of the Comptroller and Auditor General, involving the designing of training curricula and modules on various aspects of auditing and accounting and public administration, I also served as an active member of the Department’s Training Advisory Board and as Resource Person for a number of training programmes, seminars and workshops conducted by the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, the National Institute of Financial Management, the Railway Staff College, etc.
Also served as Course Director of and Resource Person for international training programmes organised under the training initiatives of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) aimed at assisting the Supreme Audit Institutions, particularly in developing and emerging nations, to improve their audit capacity and capabilities and to effectively address emerging audit issues through training and information sharing.
I was also involved in workshops organised with external assistance by the Supreme Audit Institution of Vietnam and chaired one of the Working Groups relating to the 16th UN-INTOSAI Seminar on “The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Auditing the Utilisation of Funds in the Field of Education” held in Vienna under the joint auspices of the United Nations and the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions during March-April 2003.
I have travelled abroad extensively to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Holland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Skills and Interests
• Languages: Expert knowledge of English, Hindi and Tamil; basic knowledge of French. All professional transactions were conducted in English.
• Computer literate.
Interests: I had been a serious debater in English during my college years, having won many inter-collegiate and university debating competitions in English. I was also Secretary of my college union, editor-in-chief of the college newsletter and magazine, and an active member of the theatre group.
Over the more than three decades of public service as a civil servant, I can claim to have acquired proficiency and specialized skills in:
• Auditing, performance evaluation and impact assessment.
• Appraisal of economic and financial viability of infrastructure and other projects.
• Evaluation of major acquisition proposals as well as finalisation of financing arrangements for such acquisitions.
• Creation and establishment of new parastatals and statutory entities.
• Restructuring of government departments as government companies and statutory entities.
• Appraisal of five year plans.
• Determination of compensation packages for public servants, including the armed forces.
• Civil Service reforms.
• Scrutiny of wage agreements with unionised categories of employees.
• Formulation of productivity-linked bonus and incentive schemes.
• Industrial relations.
• Preparation of reports.
Following my retirement from government service, I am keen to continue to contribute in various ways drawing upon these and specialized skills and my expertise acquired over three and more decades, and, in particular, in the spheres of reforms and enforcing accountability.