Public Accounts Committee (PAC)


  • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recently completed its 100 years.

About Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

  • The PAC is one of three Financial Parliamentary committees, with the Estimates Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings being the other two.
  • The PAC is one of three Financial Parliamentary committees, with the Estimates Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings being the other two.
    • Article 105 (on Parliamentary privileges) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for governing its procedure and conduct of business) provide Parliamentary committees with their authority.
  • After its first mention in the Government of India Act, 1919, commonly known as the Montford Reforms, the Public Accounts Committee was established in 1921.
  • Every year, the Public Accounts Committee is formed under Rule 308 of the Lok Sabha Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha appoints the Chairman of the Committee.
  • It should be noted that the Committee is not an executive body, it can only make advisory recommendations.
  • It presently has 22 members, each of whom is elected for a one-year term (15 by the Lok Sabha Speaker and 7 by the Rajya Sabha Chairman).
  • The PAC prohibits any Minister from being elected as a member of it since it was created to determine whether money allocated to the Government by Parliament was spent within the “scope of demand” or not.

Functions of Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

The Committee on Public Accounts scrutinizes   the Appropriation Accounts of the Government of India  and the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India thereon.  While doing so,  it is the duty of the Committee  to satisfy itself:-

  • that the moneys shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for, and applicable to, the service or purpose to which have been applied or charged;
  • that the expenditure conforms to the authority which governs it; and
  • that every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under rules framed by competent authority.

It is also the duty of the PAC :-

  • to examine the statement of accounts showing the income and expenditure of State Corporations, trading and manufacturing schemes, concerns and projects together with the balance sheets and statements of profit and loss accounts which the President may have required to be prepared or are prepared under the provisions of statutory rules regulating the financing of a particular corporation trading or manufacturing scheme or concern or project and the report of the C&AG thereon;

    Public Accounts Committee
    Credit: The Guardian
  • to examine the statement of accounts showing the income and expenditure of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, the audit of which may be conducted by the C&AG of India either under the directions of the President or by a statute of Parliament; and
  • to consider the report of the C&AG in cases where the President may have required him to conduct an audit of any receipts and to examine the accounts of stores and stocks.
  • Another important function of the Committee is the discussion on points of financial discipline and principle.  The detailed examination of questions involving principles and system is a leading and recognized function of the Committee.
  • The Committee is not concerned with questions of policy in the broad sense though it is within its jurisdiction to point out whether there has been extravagance or waste in carrying out that policy.
The powers and duties of its officers and employees
  • Officers and  employees in charge of the Committee Secretariat provide Secretarial assistance to the Committee.

The broad duties are as under:-

  • To prepare a list of relevant subjects based on the Audit Paragraphs/reviews from the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and other important subjects so as to enable the Committee to consider and finalise the selection of subjects for examination during  the year;
  • To arrange to convene sittings of the Committee after seeking convenience of the Chairman or as per directions from the Chairman ;
  • Obtaining/ gathering of information including preliminary material/ brief notes on the relevant  subjects from different sources including Office of C&AG, the nodal Ministry, Public Sector Undertakings, newspaper clippings, Internet, etc.;
  • Sending intimations/agenda papers for the sittings of the Committee to the Chairman and Members of the Committee ;
  • Correspondence with concerned Ministry/Organisations on relevant matters ;
  • To study / examine the Audit paragraphs and material received from the  concerned Ministry/ Public Sector Undertakings/ Organisations on relevant subjects and  Annual Report, Performance Budget, etc.  of the concerned Ministry, if required;
  • To study/examine the replies to Parliamentary Questions, relevant newspaper clippings, material gathered from the Internet and other sources on the subjects under examination ;
  • To prepare Lists of Points on the relevant subjects for written replies/evidence/post-evidence purposes ;
  • To draft Original Reports on subjects selected and examined by the Committee;
  • To arrange  for consideration/ adoption, presentation, printing and circulation of such  Reports;
  • To scrutinise Action Taken Replies received from the Ministry, draft Action Taken Reports and arrange for their consideration/ adoption, presentation,  printing and circulation;
  • To arrange for putting of various Reports presented to the House, on the Internet ;
  • To prepare Action Taken Statements for the purpose of laying of the same in the Houses ;
  • To prepare Study Tour Programmes and firm up arrangements for the smooth conduct of the same in co-ordination with the concerned Ministries/Departments/Field Organisations;
  • To process the representations received from Members/ Agencies  and individuals as per existing practice ;  and
  • Day-to-day work relating to the Committee Secretariat.


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