There is a separate Finance Division of the Raksha Mantralaya (Ministry of Defence) for dealing with all defence matters having a financial bearing. The head of this division is the Financial Adviser (Defence Services).
With a view to ensuring greater efficiency in administration and quicker disposal of the cases, Ministry of Defence has been delegated enhanced financial powers in regard to expenditure met from the Defence Services Estimates. In matters within the delegated powers of the Ministry of Defence, Financial Adviser(Defence Services) or authorised Representatives of Finance Division are to be consulted before exercise of financial powers. In all matters beyond the powers delegated to the Ministry, the Finance Division functions as Associate Finance and is responsible to and have the right of access to the Ministry of Finance and to the Finance Minister through Secretary (Expenditure). If any important change in the duties and functions of Finance Division or the Defence Accounts Department is contemplated, approval of the Finance Ministry is necessary.
The financial control exercised by the Finance Division is really a careful and intelligent scrutiny of all proposals involving expenditure from the public funds, the objective being the safeguarding of economy, efficiency and propriety in public finance. Before according financial concurrence to any proposals involving fresh expenditure, it is the duty of the Finance Division to seek complete and comprehensive justification for the proposals. The division may even challenge the necessity for spending so much money or on such a scale to secure a given object. In fact the Division may ask every question that might be expected from an intelligent taxpayer for obtaining best value for money.
The rules provide that no expenditure which has not been provided for in the Budget or which having been provided, has not been sanctioned shall be authorized without the concurrence of the Finance Division. The strict observance of this rule is automatically ensured as the Controllers of Defence Accounts will not make any disbursement in respect of charges not covered by regulations or Government orders.
The according of financial concurrence by the Finance Division of the Ministry of Defence falls generally in three, more or less, well defined stages –
- the examination of the proposal on its merits.
- the assessment of the financial effect.
- if the proposal is accepted, the careful examination and vetting of the final orders before issue.
Sometimes two or more of these stages are combined, but all proposals having a financial bearing inevitably follow through this process. This procedure ensures not only close and adequate control by Finance, but also enables them to give constructive suggestions and advice from the financial point of view at a fairly early stage of the consideration of a proposal.
The Finance Division prepares the Defence Budget and the Civil estimates for the Civilian Establishments of the Ministry of Defence. It also furnishes the Heads of the Branches of the Armed Forces Headquarters and Heads of Civilian Deptts./Organisations with all information necessary to enable them to discharge their financial responsibilities in respect of the grants allotted to them and advises them in regard to the preparation of proposals and the disposal of financial business generally. Finance Division is also fully associated with formulation and implementation of Defence Plans.
The Financial Adviser (Defence Services) is assisted by Financial Adviser (Acquisition) and 3 Finance Managers and 3 Directors with corresponding staff, for processing Capital Acquisition cases of the Armed Forces of the Union . On the Revenue Expenditure sides, FA(DS) is assisted by 5 Addl. Financial Advisers, and about 22 Directors/Deputy Financial Advisers along with corresponding complement of Assistant Financial Advisers and Sections to carry out the examination, scrutiny, vetting and concurrence of all proposals of the Defence Services Estimates and the Civil Estimates of the Ministry of Defence having a Financial implication.
In addition to these functions, the FA(DS) is also the Chief Accountng Officer for Defence Services. It is in this capacity that he prepares the Appropriation Accounts for the Defence Services Expenditure, and this responsibility is discharged through the Controller General of Defence Accounts.