MyGovt Reform Tracker

Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is an independent committee whose members are appointed at every term of the Parliament’s commencement (SO 77(2)). Its function is to examine the federal government’s spending and the appropriation of the sums granted by the Parliament to meet public expenditure.

The PAC’s primary source of information on the government’s financial accountability is the Auditor-General Annual Report which is produced twice a year. Assisted by reports by the Accountant General Department, the PAC examines both documents and initiates investigations into cases of public interest as a key mechanism to ensure good accountability of the federal government.

The role of the PAC chairperson was helmed by an opposition party member (Noraini Ahmad, Parit Sulong MP — BN) for the first time during the Pakatan Harapan administration. This practice of appointing an MP from the opposition (Wong Kah Woh, Ipoh Timur MP — DAP) to lead the PAC was maintained by the Perikatan Nasional government in May 2020.

The aim, therefore, is to legislate for the principal role to be assumed by an opposition party member of any Cabinet formed.

Setting in place an impartial counter-checking function where transparency and public access to information are being prioritised and demanded, it is hoped that this measure among others would increase government accountability in all matters pertaining to government spending.