History of Defence Accounts Department – DAPWA
The organisational history of the present Defence Accounts Department may be traced to the Article of War adopted by the British Parliament en April, 1747. Regulation 17 of the Articles empowered the Government to appoint a Millitary Pay Master for disbursing the Pay and Allowances of the officers, NCOs and Private men. Millitary 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, evolved over the last 266 years, is presently responsible for 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 and Development Organization and Inter-Service Organizations. Similar services are also provided to the Defence related organizations such as the Border Roads, the Coast Guard and the Canteen Stores Department.
During the year 1747 to 1760, our Department was known as Millitary Pay Master and Commissary General. During 1766 Pay Master General was created by amalgamating Commissary General and Millitary Pay Master. After a lapse of seven years in 1773 the Commissary General was revived to control Millitary Stores, Contracts and to audit and certify all bills for Millitary Charges. Again after fifteen years in 1788 Commissary General was re-designated as Auditor General of Millitary Accounts. Millitary Pay Master General constituted to make advances for Millitary Disbursements.
After completion of 113 years in 1860, Millitary Finance Department with a Chief for whole of India was constituted. Under the Chief, functioned a Controller of Millitary Finance in each Presidency and under each Controller functioned Examiners and Compliers. The Board of Audit comprising Accountant General (also Auditor General) and Chief of Millitary Finance Department was constituted. After a short span of five years Accountant General of Millitary Department was redesigneated as Controller General of Millitary Expenditure, which was further re-designated as Accountant General of Millitary Expenditure in 1871. In 1906 Millltary Accounts Department was made subordinate to Finance Department as a result of creation of two separate departments viz Army and Millitary Supply in lieu of Millitary Department. It was headed by Millitary Accountant General. On 01st October 1913, Financial Advisor Millitary Finance was created in place of Millitary Finance Branch.
Thus it would be seen from the above that number of times the name of the Department was changed without diluting the functions of the Department. In 1920 a major change was effected as Accounting of Millitary Works Expenditure hither to being done by Comptroller and Auditor General was transferred to Millitary Accountant General and in the same year Controller of Marine Accounts, presently CDA (Navy) formed In Bombay (now Mumbai) and Controller of Royal Air Force Accounts, presently CDA (Air force) formed in Ambala. The year 1920 saw so many changes because Accounting of Millitary works was decentralized to various Controllers of Millitary Accounts. After World War-I Army restructured into four commands. The idea of Centeralized Pension, hither to dealt by each controller was mooted and ultimately resulted in the creation of Controller of Millitary Accounts (Pensions), Lahore in 1929. Our Department was the first wherein Hollerith Machines were introduces in 1931. In 1942 consequent upon on major restructuring of entire Army, Millitary Accounts Department reorganized with CMA, North Western Command at Rawalpindi, CMA Eastern Command at Ranchi, CMA Southern Command at Pune, CMA Central Command at Meerrut, CMA (Pension) at Lahore and FCMA, Pune to Account and audit all field formations and for making advances to the officers. In 1950 FCMA (ORS) moved from Ambala to Secundrabad and the fund work transferred from Eastern Cmmand to Hollerith Section, Meerut in 1951.
On 01st October 1951 Millltary Accounts Department was re-designated as Defence Accounts Department and Controller of Millitary Accounts accordingly re-designated at Controller of Defence Accounts. Millitary Accountant General was also re-designated as Controller General of Defence Accounts. This is the precise reason for celebrating 01st October as Annual Day of Defence Accounts Department.
We are the first Department of the Govt. of India to introduce computer IBM-1401 in Meerrut during the year 1969. Undergoing a great change DAD projects for construction of office and residential accommodation were undertaken by us in 1977. To impart training National Institute of Financial Management and Accounts (CDA Training) was established at Meerrut in 1978. In 1983 Integrated Financial Scheme was introduced in Ministry of Defence-FA (DS) and DAD came under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Defence. Further, to strengthen the system of training Regional Training Centers were setup at Meerut, Pune, Bangalore and Calcutta (now Kolkatta) in 1991. The Controllers of Accounts (Factories) was also redesignated as Controller of Finance and Accounts (Factories) in 1994. IFA system was introduced for Air Force, Naval HQs, Border Roads and Army HQs in the years 1994, 1995. A major change took place in the reorganization of the Army Controllers. Functional Controllers for other ranks abolished and the work transferred to respective Army Controllers in 1995.
In 1996 the Department look a further leap by inauguration of Training-cum-Convention Centre, CGDA Office, Brar Square, New Delhi and We are first amongst various Departments of Govt. of India, to whom the award of ISO 9002. 1994 was accorded to one of our Accounts Office, Ordnance Factory, Dehu Road.
Defence Accounts Department is marching ahead of various other departments of the Govt. of India with a missionary zeal with moto ‘In the service of Services. We are proud to be a part of this great Department and we bow our head to the great traditions of the Department and wish the present leadership will strive to achieve more glorious heights in the time to come.