Public Accounts Committee
The Public Accounts Committee consists of not more than seven members, four from the Government side and three from the Opposition side. The Committee is chaired by a senior Opposition Member of Parliament nominated by the Leader of the Opposition. It meets periodically when Parliament is in session.
The main roles of the Committee are to scrutinise and assess the financial administration of the public sector and to promote improvements, where necessary; encourage the economic, efficient and effective utilisation of public sector resources; and enhance the accountability of the executive government to Parliament and the public.
Reports submitted to the Speaker of the House may be taken up by the PAC, which is empowered to examine the Reports and discuss their contents. In fact, most of the Committee meetings are focused on issues raised in the Annual Report by the Auditor General or Performance Audit Reports. The PAC thereby ensures that audit findings are given due attention.
The Committee, through at least three of its members, may also request the Auditor General to enquire and report upon matters within his mandate. The Committee is also empowered to take evidence from senior officials of ministries and departments or other government related bodies. Moreover the PAC can also review the activities of non-Departmental organisations that are required to present their accounts to Parliament.
National Audit Office Accounts Committee
The National Audit Office Accounts Committee is chaired by the Hon Louis Grech, MP, who is the Leader of the House of Representatives. The committee has, as other members, the Chairperson of the PAC, two members from the Government and one from the Opposition. The Committee elects the Chairman from amongst its members. The Committee meets at least once a year and presents to the House of Representatives a report of its activities and the report of NAO’s estimates.
The accounts of the NAO, which are on an accrual basis, are audited by certified private sector auditors appointed by the Committee. The Auditor General presents the audit report issued by the private sector auditors to the National Audit Office Accounts Committee which is then submitted to the House of Representatives together with any comment thereon by the said Committee.