The ‘Eyes and Ears of Parliament’: devolved public accounts committees in the UK

Helen Foster, Colin Knox

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Devolution in the United Kingdom heralded a significant change in democratic arrangements including associated accountability mechanisms in the form of public accounts committees (PACs) in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This paper investigates whether devolved arrangements have resulted in enhanced accountability. Based on documentary sources, survey data, and interviews with key stakeholders, this study finds that all three jurisdictions have a high level of public accountability, with Wales being the most effective PAC. While there are significant differences in the information and discussion phases of the committees’ work, all three regions have comparable outcomes as a result of their deliberations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Legislative Studies
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 24 May 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Law
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • devolution
  • public accounts committees
  • accountability
  • Devolution


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