Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) constituted Government Accounting Standards Advisory Board (GASAB) with the support of Government of India through a notification dated 12th August, 2002. The decision to set-up GASAB was taken in the backdrop of the new priorities emerging in the Public Finance Management and to keep pace with International trends. The new priorities focus on good governance, fiscal prudence, efficiency & transparency in public spending.
The accounting systems, the world over, are being revisited with an emphasis on transition from rule to principle based standards and migration from cash to accrual based system of accounting. GASAB, as a nodal advisory body in India, is taking similar action to formulate and improve standards of government accounting and financial reporting and enhance accountability mechanisms.
Structure of the Board
The Board has high level representation from the important accounting heads in Government, Ministry of Finance, Department of Post, Finance Secretaries of states, RBI and heads of premier accounting & research organizations. The board consists of the following members:
1. Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (Government Accounts) as Chairperson
2. Financial Commissioner, Railways
3. Member (Finance) Telecom Commission, Department of Telecom
4. Secretary, Department of Post
5. Controller General of Defence Accounts
6. Controller General of Accounts
7. Additional / Joint Secretary (Budget),Ministry of finance, Govt. of India
8. Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India or his nominee
9-12. Principal Secretary (Finance) of four States by rotation
13. Director General, National Council of Applied Economic Research(NCAER), N.Delhi
14. President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or his nominee
15. President, Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India or his nominee
16. Principal Director (Government Accounts), office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India as Member secretary.
Responsibilities of the Board
1. To formulate and improve standards of governmental accounting and financial reporting in order to enhance accountability mechanisms;
2. To formulate and propose standards that improve the usefulness of financial reports based on the needs of the financial report users;
3. To keep the standards current and reflect changes in the governmental environment;
4. To provide guidance on implementation of standards;
5. To consider significant areas of accounting and financial reporting that can be improved through the standard setting process; and
6. To improve the common understanding of the nature and purpose of information contained in financial reports.