The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a Standing Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly established in accordance with Section 60(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and under Assembly Standing Order 56. It has nine members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. The quorum of the committee is five, except when no decision is taken or question put to the committee, when the quorum is four. A quorum shall be deemed to be present where members are linked by a video-conferencing facility.
The Committee’s work focuses primarily on the consideration of NIAO reports, which can be annual financial reports or reports on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. The Committee aims to develop lessons to improve accountability and financial governance in the public sector.
It calls the Accounting Officers responsible in each report to give oral evidence. Members scrutinise the report and evidence, and produce reports containing recommendations for improved financial systems and controls. The Treasury Officer of Accounts (TOA) attends all evidence sessions on behalf of the Department of Finance (DoF), answering Members’ questions and supporting Accounting Officers. The C&AG also attends each evidence session and can be called to give oral evidence, if necessary.
The relevant Department responds to the Committee’s recommendations (through DoF) in a Memorandum of Reply (MOR) two months after report publication. The TOA co-ordinates this response, which is signed by the Minister for Finance and Personnel, and promotes good practice across Departments.
Go to Public Accounts Committee to access the work of the Committee.