Oversight by the State Control Committee in the Israeli parliament: Form of accountability under stress

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Abstract

Efficient parliamentary oversight is dependent primarily on an active committee system, which enables its members to penetrate the surface of government activity and to ensure that the concept of 'public accountability' is substantive. The most important committee founded to achieve the oversight task is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), first instituted in the British Parliament in 1861. This article investigates the Public Accounts Committee activity in the Israeli Parliament during three Knesset terms from a 'police-patrol' oversight perspective. It focuses on the committee's ability to oversee the executive branch and its performance. It also analyses the failures that impair this oversight activity. The findings show that the Israeli PAC, though possessing special powers that other Knesset committees do not have, operates under severe stress derives from structural, procedural, personal, legal and financial obstacles. This reality undermines the committee's ability to activate effective oversight on the Israeli executive branch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-320
Number of pages15
JournalIsrael affairs
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Knesset
  • PAC
  • State Control Committee
  • parliamentary oversight

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