Public Accounts Committee in action over HSBC Tax Avoidance

As part of the study of Parliament, it is necessary to understand the working of committees. There are different types of committee, but a very important one is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), led by Margaret Hodge (Lab). Their main job is to ensure efficiency and value for money in spending by the government.

Committees are often criticised for their lack of actual powers. However, this story shows a good example of one clear way that the PAC can effect a change – they can use the media. The PAC is commonly in the news for the reports that they publish; in this way, the PAC can raise public awareness and therefore encourage scrutiny of these events.