The Practice of Public Accounts Committee in the Parliament of Malaysia
Keywords:PAC, Chairman, Meetings, Ex-Officio, PAC Report
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Malaysia is a permanent committee made up of members from Malaysia’s House of Representative, the Dewan Rakyat, and has grown in function since its establishment in 1959. The PAC initially served as a financial oversight body to check the financial procedures and performance accountability of executive bodies. Then, it started to pursue a series of reforms to make it more effective and accountable. Therefore, this research explores the current practices of the PAC in the Parliament of Malaysia pertaining to the appointment of its Chairman. It also analyses the implementation of two types of new meetings and identifies the relationship between the PAC with other stakeholders. The research employed a case study with an exploratory, descriptive approach using data collected from published reports of PAC meetings from 2017 to 2020, the PAC’s official website, interviews with a parliamentary officer-in-charge of handling the PAC, as well as international and local newspapers such as The Straits Times and The Edge. The research found that changes in the appointment of the Chairman have not affected the PAC reports as the core task of a Chairman is to set the committee’s agenda with consultation from the committee and Auditor General, as well as to ensure that the reports are released. The two new types of meeting (i.e. verification meeting and response reporting meeting) are crucial to enhance the PAC performance. Furthermore, the seven ex-officio possess prominent roles to provide and check the validity of data. This can avoid the manipulation of data and corruption between the PAC and the Executive.
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