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Divisional Accountants/Divisional Accounts Officers constitute a separate cadre in 13 States under the administrative control of Indian Audit & Accounts Department. They discharge the role of Financial Advisers to the Executive Engineers and ensure a measure of proficiency in the accounting of public works transactions besides serving the needs of internal audit. The duties and functions of DA/DAO have been elaborately described in Chapter 4 & 22 of CPWA code. The existing structure of the cadre is as follows:-
Designation Percentage of total Strength Corresponding Pay Band & Grade Pay
Pay Band Grade Pay
Divisional Accountant 35 PB-2, 9300-34800 4200
Divisional Accounts Officer Grade – II 25 PB-2, 9300-34800 4600
Divisional Accounts Officer Grade – I 25 PB-2, 9300-34800 4800
Sr. Divisional Accounts Officer 15 PB-3 5400
The state wise total sanctioned strength of the 4 tier cadre of Divisional Accountant / Divisional Accounts Officer under the administrative control of the various Accountants General are detailed below:
State Divisional Accountant DAO Gr-II DAO Gr-I Sr. DAO Total
Gujrat 47 33 33 20 133
Haryana 65 46 46 28 185
Himachal Pradesh 44 31 31 19 125
Jharkhand 95 67 67 40 269
Madhya Pradesh 117 84 84 50 335
Maharashtra 150 107 107 64 428
Meghalay 32 23 23 13 91
Orissa 102 75 74 44 295
Punjab 92 63 63 38 256
Rajasthan 127 90 90 54 361
Tamil Nadu 52 37 37 22 148
Uttar Pradesh 254 182 182 109 727
West Bengal 128 93 93 55 369
Tripura 18 13 13 8 52
Bihar 198 142 141 85 566
Uttarakhand 54 39 39 23 155
Chattishgarh 42 30 30 18 120
Total 1657 1155 1153 690 4615


On a Review of the working of these controlling officers of accounts by Major Strachy towards the end of 1856,who reported that Chief Engineers were generally unable to manage the accounts matter and after further examination of the report by a committee appointed by the Government of India. In June 1858 a separate Department for Public Works accounts and Audit under a Chief Inspecting & Controlling Officer attached to the Secretary to the Public Works Department under him was formed with Controller & Deputy Controller under him was formed in 1860,to take over the responsibility in the matter of accounts and audit from Chief Engineers (vide Govt. of India Public Works Department Notification No.278 dated 13.11.1860).
Simultaneously an establishment of Principal subordinate Accountants for accounts of Public Works Offices was created. This marks the beginning of separate accounts cadre for the Public Works department under the administrative control of Central Government .The central office of each circle was provided with one Accountant who was to act under the orders of the Superintending Engineer in all matters except those relating to the forms in which the accounts were to be maintained and the mode of abstracting and the method to be followed. In respect of which the accountant was to work under the orders of the respective Controller of Accounts. This also marked the beginning of the duality in control over the Public Works Accounting machinery. A fresh examination of this system by a commission of enquiry in 1864 resulted in a further decentralization in the responsibility for preparation of the Divisional Accounts by the respective Executive Engineers and the formation of a Principal Public Works Accounts Office under an Accountant General, Public Works Department. In 1889 another committee on Public Works Accounts stressed necessity of having a properly trained accountant in the office of every Executive Engineer who compiled his accounts and giving him a status of the head of the Executive Engineers office establishment as the person entrusted with accounts needed a complete grasp over the working of the Division and should be in a position to distribute works amongst the members of clerical establishment .The committee also recommended that no one should be entrusted with the duties of the accountant in the Division until he has passed the prescribed test after at least 2 years experience in Public Works Accounts. The Government of India accepted the recommendation (vide Government of India Resolution 21 A dated 20.10.1889) and held in correct and important that the accountant be treated as the head of the Executive Engineer’s Office establishment. The relative position of the Divisional Accountant vis-a-vis the Executive Engineer was also made analogues to that of the Sub-Divisional Officer. The basic structure of Public Works Accounts has remained as such till today and the system has ensured the services of efficient accountant for Public Works Account Service.
Upon merger of the post of Examiner of Public Works Accounts who were the appointing authority of Accounts Clerks and Accountants for so long with the post of Accountant General, Civil Accounts in 1917 under Government of India resolution No. 1318 F dated 28.11.1917 a provincial Divisional Accountant cadre formally came into being. The Administrative control of Accounts Clerks was, however, transferred to State Government from 1.4.1925.The cadre of Divisional Accountant was kept under the administrative control of Accountant General in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department with a view to proper management of Public Works Accounts and Primary audit of the transactions of Works Department of the State Government and the Ministries of Central Government.
The origin and evolution of the cadre of Divisional Accountant under Central Government and ultimate constitution of a separate cadre of Divisional Accountant under the administrative control of Accountant General in the I.A.& A.D. even when Divisional Accountants were to work in Works Division of State Government was obviously made keeping in mind that the Government of India always attached importance to proper concurrent pre-audit control and management of public expenditure in Works Department of State Governments.
Owing to increase in budgetary outlay though works divisions due to implementation of developmental programme launched under successive 5 year plans the need for further strengthening of audit control at the level of Executive Engineer was felt necessary after independence.
Unfortunately overlooking these considerations the C & A.G. in 1953 rejected this approach and came instead to the conclusion that there was flagrant inconsistency in the theory of the Divisional Accountant being an official helping the Divisional Engineer to discharge his responsibility and being also a primary auditor on behalf of the Accountant General (Evolution Organisation and functions of I.A. & A.D. published by Indian Institute of Public Administration.)
A policy of transferring the cadre of Divisional Accountant to State Control was thus adopted and the C & A.G. of India took up the matter of transfer of cadre with State Government as early as 1953
The response of various State Governments was nevertheless not encouraging mainly because of the fact that the State Government did not relish the idea of making Divisional Accountants subordinate of the Executive Engineers. Their apprehension was that if the cadre comes under state control; the financial check being exercised concurrently through Divisional Accountant remaining under the I.A. & A.D. will get a set back. Accordingly except for the Government of Assam( form 1.5.1954) Hyderabad (from 16.8.54) Kerala (from 1.3.56) Manipur (from 12.5.54) Punjab including Haryana & Himachal Pradesh (from 15.6.54) Orissa (from 1.4.54) Tripura (from 12.5.54) and Vindhya Pradesh (from 12.2.55) none of the remaining States agreed to take over the cadre from the control of their respective Accountants General.
The re-organization of states brought further change in the above arrangement and the cadre was again handed over to the control of Orissa (from 1.2.62)and Punjab and Himachal Pradesh (from 1.4.62).The cadre transferred to State control in Hyderabad and Vindhya Pradesh was taken over on creation of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
The fact that such re-transfer of cadre was accepted goes to prove that the proposal to hand over the cadre in 1953 was based on hasty conclusion and in utter disregard of constitutional provision and functional responsibility and importance of Divisional Accountants within I.A. & A.D in consideration of which the cadre was kept under Central Government /Audit Control from the date of its birth.
Recognized by :
Accountant General (A&E) Orissa vaide his Letter No: WM- 47- 4- Association- VOI- 9- 65, dated:22/04/2003
This association is affiliated to the All India Federation of DAO & DA association.
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