Legislative Oversight (Jamaica) ENG - Page 3

takings. The PAC, which is the only committee of Parliament named in the Constitution of most Commonwealth countries, is recognized as the lynchpin between the Office of the Auditor General and the Executive, and has an important oversight role to play in ensuring accountability of the administration.

The annual budget is supposed to outline the spending priorities of the government for the coming year. In the budget, difficult political decisions need to be taken regarding which programs and services are prioritized. Therefore, budget scrutiny provides an important entry point for Legislatures to monitor the country’s achievement of its national development goals and assess whether the proposed budget before the Legislature is likely to achieve these goals.

Despite a strong mandate provided in the Constitution and/or Rules of Procedure, and despite the fact that in many Commonwealth countries committees are headed by an opposition party member and their hearings are open to the public or the media, these committees typically have had limited impact.