GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
The centennial celebrations of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee was recently held.
- The PAC is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha.
- The term of office of the members is one year.
- The Chairman is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Since 1967, the chairman of the committee is selected from the opposition.
- Its chief function is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament.
Limitations of the Public Accounts Committee:
- Broadly, it cannot intervene in the questions of policy.
- It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses.
- It cannot intervene in matters of day-to-day administration.
- Any recommendation that the committee makes is only advisory. They can be ignored by the ministries.
- It is not vested with the power of disallowance of expenditures by the departments.
- Being only an executive body; it cannot issue an order. Only the Parliament can take a final decision on its findings.
Did you know that the Committee on Public Accounts was first set up in 1921 in the wake of the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms? Reference:
- Difference between Parliamentary vs Cabinet committees.
- Standing vs select vs finance committees.
- Who appoints chairperson and members of these committees?
- Committees exclusive to only Lok Sabha.
- Committees where the Speaker is the chairperson.
What are Parliamentary Standing committees? Why are they necessary? Discuss their roles and functions to bring out their significance.
Sources: the Hindu.