After months of bickering, the government and opposition broke a deadlock over chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Former Punjab chief minister and President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz , Shahbaz Sharif is likely to become the chairman of the key parliamentary body.
PAC studies public audits, invites ministers, permanent secretaries or other ministry officials for questioning, and issue a report of their findings subsequent to a government budget audit.
The government is required to report back to parliament on PAC recommendations within a specified period.
Below are the rules of the National Assembly under which the committee functions.
In scrutinizing the Appropriation Accounts of the Government and the reports of the Auditor-General of Pakistan thereon, it shall be the duty of the Committee to satisfy itself
a) that the money shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for, and applicable to the service or purpose to which they have been applied or charge;
b) that the expenditure conforms to the authority which governs it; and
c) that every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under rules framed by the Ministry of Finance. [N.A Rule 203 (2)]
It shall also be the duty of the Committee:-
a) 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 the statutory rules regulating the financing of a particular corporation trading or manufacturing scheme or concern or project and the report of the Auditor-General of Pakistan thereon;
b) 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 Auditor-General of Pakistan either under the directions of the President or under an Act of the (Parliament); and
c) to consider the report of the Auditor-General of Pakistan in cases where the President may have required him to conduct the audit of any receipts or to examine the accounts of stores and stocks. [N.A Rule 203 (3)]
If any money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted by the Assembly for that purpose, the Committee shall examine with reference to the facts of each case the circumstances leading to such an excess and make such recommendations as it may deem fit. [N.A Rule 203 (4)]
The report of the Committee shall be presented within a period of one year from the date on which reference was made to it by the Assembly unless the Assembly, on a motion being made, directs that the time for the presentation of the report be extended to a date specified in the motion:
Provided that extension in the time for the presentation of the report shall be asked for before the expiry of the time allowed under the rule.
* Unfinished Work of the Committee
Any report, memorandum or note that the committee may have prepared, or any evidence that the Committee may have taken before the dissolution of the Assembly, shall be made available to the new Committee. [N.A Rule 204]
* Continuity of the Proceedings
The Public Accounts Committee may proceed from the stage where the previous Committee left the proceedings before the dissolution of the Assembly [N.A Rule 205]
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