Legislature has four (4) core functions i.e. electoral representation, law making, authorization of budget and oversight. Oversight entails assessment, monitoring and rectification of implementation processes relating to laws and Government policies. Through its oversight function the legislatures support to ventilate the abuses, misuse of power or irregularities, if any made by the Government functionaries. Legislative participation in the formation and the implementation of the Government budget is a most critical area of fiscal oversight; it helps to ensure both accountability and efficiency in the expenditure of funds. It takes the shape of scrutiny of the formulation and implementation of budget and also through ex-post facto examination of public accounts. One of the tools that legislature can use to further enhance oversight of the financial operations of Government is a specialized Committee. In the Westminster model of democracy the committee is known as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
It is the Audit Committee of Parliament and as such is the core institution of public financial accountability established by Federal and Provincial Legislatures to examine the accounts of Governments and their agencies.The Committee on Public Accounts enjoys the place of pride in our Committee System as this Committee is one of the tools that a legislature can use to further enhance oversight of the financial operations of Government. The effective parliamentary oversight of the Government helps to construct a stable foundation for democracy by assuring the best possible delivery of services to the people. It improves the quality and effectiveness of the Government services to the people by keeping Ministers and other Government official alert to the obligations and responsibilities and by holding them accountable to the people for their actions and their performance.
The responsibilities of the PAC cover the area of oversight traditionally referred to as fiscal audits. Fiscal audits focus exclusively on the examination of Government expenditures to assure that funds appropriated by the parliament have been spent legally and as the parliament intended, hence the public Accounts Committee is a key part of our accountability arrangements to safeguard public money.