Precise recollection of history of this service shows the Union Government of India feeling the necessity and urge of formation of States Audit and Accounts Services in the line Indian Audit and Accounts Service, had issued directives in this regard to all the states. Most of the states complied with the central directives barring some states including West Bengal, as usual.
After some dilly-dally, our state authorities woke up from their slumber in the late sixties for implementation of the said central directives. After a short while, Notification No.935 dt.3rd March, 1971 was promulgated laying the foundation of West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service, though procrastination and negligence became its childhood companion ever.
In earlier days of its formation, many officers from-A. G., W. B. continued to ( officiate in the posts meant for the officers of this service. Direct recruitment started in 1973 with the creation of three tier cadres namely Higher Audit and Accounts, State Audit and Accounts and Junior Audit and Accounts Services. The officials who were entrusted to 'groom' this service from its birth showed total indifference and callousness in their attitude to rear up the service properly. After a time of three to four years, the recruitments showed some improvement and the total cadre strength reached 150 comprising of old and new officers. At this juncture, the existing officers started to have a feeling to do something collectively which ultimately led to formation of broader platform, i. e.; an association. Two associations were simultaneously formed; one by the old members and another by the newer ones namely, Officers Association of West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service (Direct Recruit). In 1981, when the service was still at its infancy, the higher tier comprising of nominated officers only baring one, the middle tier had the maximum number of officers and the number of officers in the junior tier was comparatively less.
At this point of time, there was rumour all around that the three-tiers of the Audit and Accounts Service were going to be integrated into a single cadre within a short while like W. B. C. S. Shree M. G. Kutty, then Finance Secretary, did write for unification of the services to the Second Pay Commission, but the Pay Commission ultimately did not show any interest for unification due to some pernicious and heinous activities behind the screen engineered by reactionary forces present in the Officers Association of West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service (Direct).
They practically reversed the stands of the association in front of the Pay Commission. It was a terrible blow to the progressive-minded officers which sowed the seeds of disenchantment and disbelief in the minds of many right-minded officers. This development laid the foundation of a separate association of ours. The West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service Association was formed in Sth September, 1981 - a separate and independent association to remain honest and sincere in protecting the right of the Junior Service Officers. The erstwhile association, namely, the association for the officers of the West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service (Direct Recruit) went into utter oblivion and stood extinct. Another association was formed by the Direct Officers, namely, the Association for the Officers of the State Audit and Accounts Service. With the advent of the West Bengal Audit and Accounts Service Association, _ which was formed mainly due to the concerted efforts of the Junior Service Officers; the prevailing atmosphere became progressive and liberal.
This association became the only association to embrace all categories of officers, namely absorbee, compartmental, limited departmental and direct state and junior recruits.
With the two Associations functioning side by side the future of the Audit and Accounts Service looked bright and optimistic. Officers were being posted to Treasuries, different departments and directorates, Corporations, Municipalities and Statutory Bodies with greater responsibilities and quantum of duties. The importance and significance of our service increased manifold and outstepped many other state services. But still today we languish for not getting appropriate recognition from the Government.
Meanwhile, the 'mission unification' started to gain momentum from 1981 onwards. The State Government turned a deaf ear to all our pleas despite several deputations and memorandums.
We had to move to the Honourable High Court in 1983. Our fight for the cause of unification got justice in the Trial and Division Bench of the Kolkata High Court, but we were getting stiffer resistance from nearly all quarters of the Government and other divisive elements present in our service.
At that point of time our association had suffered serious set backs in many ways due to arrogance and egoism of some of our senior office-bearers. The resultant split in our association became wide open and our opponents joined hands with the disgruntled elements within ourselves and some unscrupulous officials present in the Finance Department at that time.
This unholy nexus moved to the Honourable Supreme Court against the judgement of the Honourable High Court. The Honourable Supreme Court opined that it was well within the rights and powers of the Government to decide on the unification issue on its own. This was a bolt from the blue for us. We started to introspect within ourselves and started to look ahead. Unfazed and undaunted even by relentless pressure from outside and the visible fissures within our association marched onwards with renewed vigour and strong determination.
An ambience of darkness and despondency were looming large allover our members and this compelled some of us to introspect, rethink and rebuilt the association with new zeal and endeavour removing the decadent leadership. We ultimately achieved this through a most democratic process which restored the faith of our members on our association and our activities.
Meanwhile the association for the officers of the State Audit and Accounts Service had been able to bring out the order of promotion on 6 : 3 : l basis. It became substantially gainful for a particular group of officers though there were serious doubts about the procedure of implementation of this order from the begimiing.
Subversive forces present in the Government had presumed that our association shall never be able to raise its head after the set back in the Honourable Supreme Court. But we had our plans otherwise. It was required to bring unison in our thoughts and start planning coherently and cohesively. We were able to realize that besides unification there were several other important things to be done to uplift the quality of activities of the association. We initiated to bring change in our infrastructural set up which was welcomed by our members promptly. Two Organising Secretaries were appointed. A clear message was sent in the General Meeting that the post of President and Vice-President should not remain ornamental.
Vice-President was renamed as Working President. A sense of collective leadership was imbued at the helm and we still feel that it is hardly possible for an association to survive and function on an individualistic approach in the larger sphere of life.
After the change over, Shree Subodh Kumar Ghosh became the General Secretary and Shree N. K. Sarkhel and Shree P. K. Mohanty were entrusted to refurbish in entirety.- We brought out our periodical Organ State Finance Service to apprise our members of the latest development in the Service and the Govermnent as a whole.
After assuming responsibility this association started to think of liberating this service from the territorial shackles of Treasury Officers, Accounts Officers and Audit Officers. Classification of the posts was done in an elaborate manner and they were redesignated accordingly keeping in conformity with the requirements of the Department / Directorate. A draft transfer policy was also submitted keeping transparency and regularity in the manner of transfer and posting. Suddenly, one association came up with an absurd proposal interalia to keep an officer posted outside for a period of twelve years irrespective of any personal constraints he might have. They also suggested redesignating only the posts in Kolkata and the posts only their members were holding. We opposed this vicious suggestion tooth and nail and with the tacit support of the then Joint Secretary Shree S. K. Pal and sincere cooperation from Shree T. K. Chowdhury, then Deputy Secretary; were able to nullify nearly ninety percent of the malafide proposal. Accordingly a G. O. was promulgated in 2001 in this regard which has become a historical milestone of this Service. We were able to change nearly 150 posts with our sincere efforts and were also able to remove all impediments and obstacles which came in our way. Those who were in close proximity with the association would be able to realize the strength of the hurdles we had to cross. Obstacles and opposition lay all around not only at the bottom but at the top most level of the hierarchy also.
During this long period of struggle of existence we never forgot our prime mission even for a while - the Unification of Services and the abolition of the Junior Tier. A Confederation of the Audit and Accounts Service was formed and our association made the Unification a precondition to join the confederation. A joint Memorandum was submitted where the demand of the Unification was suitably placed.
But due to dilatoriness of the administration the Confederation lost its patience and a few nefarious elements within started to misuse the power in someparticular cases. Ultimately the confederation came to an end for some ugly power-mongers of a particular association.
We again started the fight for Unification under the leadership of Shree S. K. Ghosh vigorously. Finally, a historical decision was taken by the Honourable Minister in 2001 in a meeting with our association. It was a victory - a victory after a long wait- reaching a goal cherished for long - a victory for a just cause - a victory over some unscrupulous and unprincipled forces - a victory ensured by a bold step taken by Dr. Ashim Dasgupta, the Honourable Finance Minister, Government of West Bengal.
22"d March, 2001 became a red-letter day in our Service because the Unification Order saw its light of the day on this date. It was a battle which was fought for long 25 years. We extend our heart-felt gratitude to all those who have supported us in many ways during this course of struggle. Though our strength has been considerably depleted in this long battle, our achievement stands aloft in uniqueness among all other State Service Association of the Government of West Bengal. This is not only the victory of our association, but a moral victory for our Service as well.
Again in September, 2009 the cup of woes of our opponents became full when the Government came out with an order of giving Retrospective effect to the Unification with effect from lst April, 1981 - another land mark in the history of movement of fight for justice and equality.