Controller General of Defence Accounts

Controller General of Defence Accounts

Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) is one of the oldest government organisations in India. CGDA operates under the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) of the Ministry of Defence of India. Its origins goes back to the Article of War adopted by the British Parliament in April 1747. Regulation 17 of the articles empowered the Government to appoint a Military Pay Master for disbursing the Pay & Allowances of the officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and private men.

Military Pay Master General, Purser General and Pay Master General were the fore-runners of Commissary General, in modern parlance Controller of Defence Accounts.

Defence Accounts Department has evolved over the last 250 years and is now in charge of the payments, accounting, financial compilation of reports, internal financial advice and internal audit of the expenditure and receipts of Army, Navy, Air Force, Ordnance Factories, Research & Development Organisation and Inter-Service Organisations. Similar services are also provided to Defence related organisations such as the Border Roads, the Coast Guard and the Canteen Stores Department. The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) which is headed by Controller General of Defence Accounts(CGDA) is at present responsible for the Financial Advice, Payments, Accounting and Internal Audit of the Expenditure and Receipts of the Defence Services and other Defence-related Organizations such as the Indian Coast Guard, the Border Roads Organisation and the Canteen Stores Department.

The CGDA helms the Department with the assistance of 4 Additional CsGDA, 19 Principal Controllers and 70 CDA-level officers looking after Regional Controllers (Army), Functional Controllers/Integrated Financial Advisors catering to Army, Navy, Air Force, Ordnance Factories, DRDO, Coast Guard and Border Roads Organisation etc.

Functional Controllers also cater to specialized organizations like Border Roads Organisation, Pensions & Pension Disbursement and CSD The department has offices situated all over India.

Present president of CGDA is Nand Kishore.

Controller General of Defence Accounts

Defence Accounts Department, with the Controller General of Defence Accounts at its head, functions under the administrative control of the Financial Adviser (Defence Services). The duties of the Defence Accounts Department are broadly audit, payment and accounting of all charges pertaining to the Armed Forces, including bills for supplies and services rendered and for construction/repair works, pay and allowances miscellaneous charges, pensions, etc. The Department is also responsible for the audit of cash and stores account kept by the various units and formations (including arsenals, workshops and storage depots) in the three services and maintenance of pay accounts of Army Officers and combatants of Army. The manufacturing accounts of Ordnance factories and the Naval Dockyard and the store accounts of the Ordnance factories are also kept by the Defence Accounts Department. They also maintain Accounts relating to works services and audit the construction and other accounts relating to works project maintained by Military Engineer Services. In addition to the duties mentioned above, the Controller of Defence Accounts function as Local Financial Advisers to the General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of Commands, Area Commanders, etc.

The Defence Accounts Department comes under the Ministry of Defence with the Controller General of Defence Accounts as the Head of the Department. The organization of the Defence Accounts Department corresponds broadly to the organization of the three Services. In addition, it also caters for the Ordnance Factories. Defence Research & Development Organisation, the Canteen Store Department, the Coast Guard, the Border Roads Organisation and Inter-Service Organisations under the Ministry of Defence.

The field organization of the department dealing with the Army has been structured by and large on the pattern of Army Commands/Areas. The location of these Controller Offices is in close proximity to the Command Headquarters/Area Headquarters in order to enable them to render prompt services to the units/formations located in these areas. Under some of the Controllers’ offices, there are also Area Accounts Offices to render prompt services to the Sub-Areas. In addition, there are Local Audit Offices to audit the accounts of the units and formations and one Unit Accountants (AAO) is attached to each Garrison Engineer. The Pay Accounts Offices (JCOS/Ors) are also under the jurisdiction of the nearest Regional Controller. In all there are 12 Regional Controllers. In addition, one Controller of Defence Accounts at Pune specifically deals with the pay and allowances of the Commissioned officers.

The remaining Controllers’ Office are patterned to serve a particular Service or function except for CDA (Headquarters) at Delhi which covers all the Services, Inter-Services Organisations and the Ministry of Defence. The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts covering the Navy is located at Bombay . In the case of the Air Force, there are two Controller of Defence Accounts, one Principal Controller at Dehra Dun covering all the Commands and field areas and one Controller at New Delhi covering the units located in Delhi including Air Headquarters. The Defence Research & Development Organisation has expanded considerably and there are a number of projects being handled by the Defence Laboratories. Accordingly, there is a Principal Controller for R&D at New Delhi and one Controller each at Bangalore and Hyderabad to deal with all matters connected with the R&D Organisation with regional Joint Controller of R&D functioning at Pune, Dehradun and Balasore. For the Canteen Stores Department, the Controller is located at Bombay . Similarly one Controller is separately established at Delhi for Border Roads.

The organization of the Ordnance Factories has 39 Factories under the Ordnance Factories Board. The entire payments, accounting, internal audit and financial advice functions for these factories is looked after by the Chief Controller of Finance & Accounts (Factories) at Kolkata. A Controller of Accounts in the Headquarters and ten Controllers (Fys) located alongside major Ordnance and Clothing Factories assist him. This complex accounts set up is a highly specialized segment of the department dealing with the cost accounts of the Ordnance and Clothing Factories.

The pension establishment of Defence has been growing substantially. Consequently, the responsibility of the department to determine the entitlement and make prompt payments of pensions has increased. In order to handle this complex task, there is a Chief Controller of Defence Accounts located at Allahabad to deal with the sanctions of pensions in respect of the Service personnel (excluding Air Force and Navy personnel which are sanctioned by CDA (Air Force) and CDA (Navy) respectively ) defence civilians and the staff of the Defence Accounts Department. He is assisted by a Controller of Defence Accounts in the Main Office. In addition, there is a Controller at Meerut dealing with the disbursement of pensions through 49 Defence Pension Disbursing Offices (DPDOs) located in various States. 11 DPDOs also function under the CDA (Chenai), who is responsible for disbursement of pension in four Southern States.

The General Provident Fund Accounts of the civilian personnel of the Army as well as the staff of the Defence Accounts Department are maintained by the Joint Controller of Defence Accounts (Funds) who functions under the administrative control of CDA (Army), Meerut The GPF Accounts of other defence civilians are maintained by the concerned functional Controllers such as Controllers of Finance & Accounts (Fys), Controller of Defence Accounts (R&D), CDA(Navy) and CDA (Border Roads). In addition, there is a Controller of Defence Accounts (Training) at Meerut to take care of the training requirements of the personnel of the department.

The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Headquarters) New Delhi deals with the pay and allowances, traveling allowance claims and fund accounts of civilian staff of Ministry of Defence, the Army and Navy Headquarters and the Inter-Services Organisations located at Delhi. Claims pertaining to contingent and miscellaneous charges of the above said organizations are also dealt with by this Controller. In addition, this Controller also handles all work relating to payments of foreign contracts including contracts entered into by the Department of Defence supply, payments for purchases made by Army Purchase Organisation and the work relating to London Account Current.


The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) which has lived through more than two and half centuries is one of the oldest departments under the Government of India. Its origina can be traced to the Military Pay Masters under the East India Company.

In January 1750, the First Pay Master was appointed for paying the Garrison at Fort Williams, Calcutta. Payments to the troops in the field were made by a Commissary. In 1776 a Commissary General was appointed for regulating the accounts.

In 1788, the designation of the Commissary General was changed to Military Auditor General who exercised his control over all Military Disbursements.

When the British Crown started administering India in 1858, there were Military Accountants General in the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay.

The office of the Accountant General, Military Department, was created in April 1864. In 1865, the Government recognized this position as the Head of the Military Accounts Department. In 1922, office of Military Accountant General was reorganised post-war and 1 MAG, 2 Dy.MAGs, 2 Asstt. MAGs and 100 Accountants and clerks were sanctioned. Office of MAG then had eight sections viz. Record, AN, Audit, Accounts, Estimate, Pay, Foreign Claims and Inspection.

The Department was re-named as Defence Accounts Department (DAD) on October 1st, 1951 and the Departmental Head designated as Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). For more than three decades after independence, the DAD functioned under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance. With the introduction of the Integrated Financial Advisor scheme in the Ministry of Defence from August 1983, the Department came under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.


1747 Articles of War empowered British Government to appoint Military Pay Master.

1760 Commissary General created.

1766 Pay Master general created by amalgamating Commissary General and Military Pay Master.

1773 Revival of Commissary General to control Military Stores, contracts and to audit and certify all bills for Military Charges.

1788 Commissary General re-designated as Auditor General of Military Accounts. Military Pay Master General constituted to make advances for Military Disbursements.

1860 Military Finance Department with a hief for whole of Indiaconstituted. Under the Chief, functioned a Controller of Military Finance in each Presidency and under each Controller functioned Examiners and Compilers.

Board of Audit comprising Accountant General (also Auditor General) and Chief of Military Finance Constituted.

1864 In place of Chief, Military Finance Department Accountant General to the Military Department appointed.

1865 Accountant General of Military department re-designated as Controller General of Military Expenditure.

1871 Controller General of Military Expenditure re-designated as the Accountant General of Military Expenditure.

1906 Military Accounts Department made subordinate to Finance Department as a result of two separate departments viz. Army and Military Supply, in lieu of Military Department.

Creation of Military Finance branch headed by Military Accountant General.

1 Oct. 1913 Financial Advisor Military Finance created in place of Military Finance branch.

1920 Accounting of Military Works Expenditure transferred from the Comptroller & Auditro General to the Military Accountant General. CAG's role restricted only to audit Military Accounts. Controller of Marine Accounts, presently CDA(Navy), formed in Bombay. Controller of the Royal Air Force Accounts, presently CDA(Air Force0, formed in Ambala. Accounting of Military Works decentralised to various Controllers of Military Accounts. After World War-I Army restructured into four Commands, each headed by a Controller.

1929 Idea of centralised Pension, hitherto dealt with by each Controller, mooted and ultimately resulted in the creation of Controller of Military Accounts(Pensions), Lahore.

1931 Hollerith machines for data processing introduced.

1942 Conseuent upon the restructuring of entire Army, Military Accounts Department reorganised with CMA, North Western Command at Rawalpindi; CMA, Eastern Command at Ranchi; CMA, Southern Command at Pune; CMA, Central Command at Meerut; CMA(Pension) at Lahore and FCMA, Pune to account and audit all field formations and for amking advances to the officers.

1950 FCMA(ORs) moved from Ambala to Secunderabad.

1951 Fund work transferred from Eastern Command to Hollerith Section, Meerut.

1 Oct. 1951 Military Accounts Department re-designated as Defence Accounts Department. Controllers of Military Accounts re-designated as Controllers of Defence Accounts. Military Accountant General re-designated as Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA).

1969 First computer IBM-1401 installed at Meerut.

1977 DAD projects for construction of office and residential buildings undertaken.

1978 National Institute of Management and Accounts (CDA Training) established at Meerut.

1983 Integrated Financial Scheme introduced in the Ministry of Defence- FA (DS) and DAD came under the administrative jurisdiction of MOD.

1984 With the availability of microprocessors, large scale computerisationprogrammes started in areas such as Officers' and Other Ranks' Pay and Funds Accounts.

1991 Regional Training Centres set up at Meerut, Pune, Bangalore and Calcutta.

1994 Controllers of Accounts (Factories0 re-designated as Controller of Finance & Accounts (Factories).

IFA System introduced for Air Force and Naval HQrs.

1995 IFA System introduced in Border Roads and Army HQrs. Re-organisation of Army COntrollers - Functional Controllers for Other Ranks abolished and work transferred to respective COntrollers.

1996 Inauguration of Training and Convention Centre (Training Division), CGDA office, Brar Square, New Delhi.

1997 Award of ISO 9002 Certification to Accounts Office, Ordnance Factory, Dehu Road

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