The Public Accounts Committee is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament, and 7 from Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament. The Chairman of Public Accounts Committee is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. The chief function of Public Accounts Committee is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament. CAG assists the committee during the course of investigation.
A member of the Public Accounts Committee belonging to the main opposition party/group in the House is appointed as the Chairman of the Committee. The present Public Accounts Committee is headed by Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The term of office of members of the Committee does not exceed one year at a time.
A Minister is not eligible to be elected as a member of the Committee and if a member, after his election to the Public Accounts Committee, is appointed as a Minister, he ceases to be a member of the Committee from the date of such appointment.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) signifies one of the essential constituents of Parliamentary Dominion which is the culpability of Public money. The committee may examine the expenditures, administration, delegated legislation, public petitions and policies of the Ministry concerned and its associated public bodies and may forward its report of findings and recommendations to the Ministry and the Ministry shall submits its reply to the Committee.
Also Read: Indian Audits & Accounts Service (IAAS)
An important function of the Committee is to ascertain that money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government “within the scope of the demand”. The functions of the Committee extend “beyond the formality of expenditure to its wisdom, faithfulness and economy”. The Committee thus examines cases involving losses, nugatory expenditure and financial irregularities.
The Public Accounts Committee is assisted by the Comptroller and Auditor General in the examination of Accounts and Audit Reports.
The Reports of Comptroller and Auditor General on Revenue Receipts, the Public Accounts Committee examines various aspects of Government’s tax administration. The Public Accounts Committee, thus, examine cases involving under-assessments, tax-evasion, non-levy of duties, mis-classifications etc., identifies loopholes in the taxation laws and procedures and make recommendations in order to check leakage of revenue.
Also Read: The Goods and Services Tax (GST)
A designated body that seeks to be authorized to license and govern the activities of its members as public accountants must meet certain minimum standards relating to its:
- Education, examination and practical experience requirements
- Rules of professional conduct, mandatory practice inspections of public accountants, the use of generally accepted accounting principles
- Governance standards respecting the licensing and governing the activities of its members as public accountants