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Comptroller and Auditor General

Comptroller and auditor-general (C&AG) is the title of a government official in jurisdictions including the UK, Ireland and India. A Comptroller General of the United States and the Auditor General of China.

These are titles of high level government officials, see the list in International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions.


  • United Kingdom 1
    • Wales 1.1
    • Scotland 1.2
    • Northern Ireland 1.3
  • Other Comptroller and Auditor Generals 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes and references 4
  • External links 5

United Kingdom

Historically, the Comptroller of the Household was a position in the English royal household, the second-ranking member of the Lord Steward's department. The C&AG role was first created in the United Kingdom by the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 which combined the functions of the Comptroller General of the Exchequer, (who had authorised the issue of public monies to departments since 1834) with those of the commissioners of audit, (who had traditionally presented the government accounts to the treasury).[1] Under the terms of the act the comptroller and auditor-general continued to authorise the issue of money to departments (the comptroller function) and was given the new task of examining departmental accounts and reporting the results to Parliament. The role has since been replicated in former commonwealth states, and separately adopted by China in the 1960s.

Currently the C&AG is an officer of the House of Commons who is the head of the National Audit Office, the body that scrutinises central government expenditure. The current C&AG is Sir Amyas Morse, who was formerly the Commercial Director at the Ministry of Defence. The unabbreviated title in the United Kingdom is Comptroller General of the Receipt and Issue of Her Majesty's Exchequer and Auditor General of Public Accounts.


The Auditor General for Wales is the public official in charge of the Wales Audit Office, the body responsible for auditing the Welsh Assembly Government and £20 billion of taxpayers' money each year. It is a statutory appointment made by Her Majesty the Queen, in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 8 to the Government of Wales Act 2006.


The role of Auditor General for Scotland is held by Caroline Gardner who replaced the first Auditor General, Robert Black, in July 2012.[2]

Northern Ireland

The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland is the head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) with responsibility for public audit in Northern Ireland.[3]

Other Comptroller and Auditor Generals

See also

List of institutions in charge of controlling public accounts, in the world: see INTOSAI#Members of INTOSAI

Each Canadian province and territory also has its own Auditor General.

In Colombia the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: Contraloría General de la República de Colombia) is an independent government institution that acts as the highest form of fiscal control in the country. As such, it has a mission to seek the proper allocation of resources and public funds.

Each Departmental Government has its own Controller General, and large cities such as Santiago de Cali also have a similar position for accountability purposes.

Similarly, the Patent Office, sometimes unofficially known as the UK Intellectual Property Office, is headed by the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

The Comptroller General is the director of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an agency founded in 1921 to ensure the accountability of the federal government. Banks are supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an officer within the federal Department of The Treasury.[4]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866, section 5.
  2. ^ Audit Scotland Auditor General for Scotland accessed 25 September 2012
  3. ^ Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland accessed 4 March 2015
  4. ^ U.S. office of the Comptroller of the Currency

External links

  • The dictionary definition of comptroller at Wiktionary
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