Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has exhorted Defence Accounts Department (DAD) to ensure judicious use of financial resources through quick & transparent decision making, terming it as the key to strengthen the combat readiness of the Armed Forces. Inaugurating the two-day Controllers’ Conference of DAD in New Delhi on November 14, 2022, the Defence Minister described the officials of the department as the sentinels of the defence finance system who play their part in nation building by managing the allotted the funds with financial prudence.
The DAD handles the budget allocated to Ministry of Defence (MoD), which translates into pay and allowances of personnel, payment to pensioners, processing of financial advice cases for various procurements and processing of first & third party claims, apart from the other auxiliary activities, including internal audit function. In Union Budget 2022-23, MoD has been allocated a total budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore, including Rs 1.19 lakh crore for pensions.
The agenda points of the conference include Public Finance Management: Towards a system of faceless transactions; IFA System: An aid to effective decision making; Efficiency & Performance Audit: From Compliance to Assurance Framework; Improving Service Delivery; Challenges in Human Resource Management and Sustaining Major IT systems developed by the DAD.
Rajnath Singh laid special emphasis on ensuring timely payments to beneficiaries, i.e., soldiers, pensioners and third parties. He hoped that the session on ‘Public Finance Management: Towards a system of faceless transactions’ will pave the way for transparency in defence financial transactions. He exuded confidence that the conference will further improve the services of the DAD; bring transparency in its working and strengthen Human Resource Management.
The session on ‘Efficiency of IFA system: An aid to effective decision making’ will introduce financial advisors with the latest delegation of financial powers. The Defence Minister said, the session will help the advisors understand the issues related to delegation of financial powers and decision making. He stressed that domain expertise coupled with a sensitive understanding of client needs is essential for providing timely financial advice. He urged the controllers to function with the mindset of a collaborator and work for the benefit of both parties.
Rajnath Singh called upon the DAD to further develop its IT capabilities & financial knowledge; bolster the internal vigilance mechanism and enhance the skills of its workforce to more efficiently discharge its duties. “If there is a doubt in the working of any officer, it should be reviewed immediately. Complaints should be settled immediately. If grievances are pending, provision should be made for their weekly or monthly audit and action should be taken,” he said.
On the occasion, Rajnath Sungh released a stamp and a special cover envelope commemorating 275 years of the DAD. The inaugural session was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare Shri Vijoy Kumar Singh, Financial Advisor (Defence Services) Smt Rasika Chaube and Chief Post Master General Ms Manju Kumar.
The conference – organised periodically every two-three years – provides DAD and MoD with a platform to take stock of various issues, deliberate and arrive at sustainable solutions. It is witnessing the participation of over 100 Principal Controllers of Defence Accounts (PCDAs)/Controllers of Defence Accounts (CDAs)/Integrated Financial Advisers (IFAs) from across the country this year.