Public Accounts Committee (Ireland)

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) (formally the Committee of Public Accounts) (Irish: An Coiste um Chuntais Phoiblí) is a standing committee of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament. It oversees government expenditures to ensure they are effective and honest. It is responsible for examining reports of Comptroller and Auditor General on Departmental expenditure and certain other accounts. It also considers the Comptroller and Auditor General's reports of economy, efficiency, effectiveness evaluation systems, procedures and practices. The PAC has a key role to play in ensuring accountability and transparency in the way Government agencies allocate, spend and manage their finances and in guaranteeing that the taxpayer receives value for money for every euro spent.[1] By the nature of its role as the public spending watchdog, the Committee of Public Accounts is one of the most powerful Oireachtas Committees.[2]


It is established under Standing Order 163 of Dáil Éireann which requires it to be set up as a standing committee after each general election. The Committee is constituted so as to be impartially representative of the Dáil and consists of thirteen members. A member of the Government or a Minister of State can not be a member of the PAC. It is normally chaired by a member of the opposition.


As of 8 September 2020, the members of the committee are as follows:[3]

Member Party Constituency
Brian Stanley (Chair) Sinn Féin Laois-Offaly
Cormac Devlin Fianna Fáil Dún Laoghaire
Paul McAuliffe Fianna Fáil Dublin North-West
James O'Connor Fianna Fáil Cork East
Colm Burke Fine Gael Cork North-Central
Jennifer Carroll MacNeill Fine Gael Dún Laoghaire
Alan Dillon Fine Gael Mayo
Neasa Hourigan Green Party Dublin Central
Imelda Munster Sinn Féin Louth
Matt Carthy Sinn Féin Cavan-Monaghan
Seán Sherlock Labour Party Cork East
Catherine Murphy Social Democrats Kildare North
Verona Murphy Independent Wexford

Chairmen of the Public Accounts Committee[edit]

It is customary for a member of the largest opposition party to chair the committee.

Year Chairman Party
1999 Jim Mitchell[4] Fine Gael
2002-2005 Michael Noonan Fine Gael
2005-2011 Bernard Allen Fine Gael
2011–2016 John McGuinness Fianna Fáil
2016-2020 Seán Fleming Fianna Fáil
2020–present Brian Stanley Sinn Féin

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Role of the Public Accounts Committee". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Committee of Public Accounts". Oiteachtas website. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Public Accounts Committee - Membership". Oireachtas website. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Jim Mitchell dies in Dublin home". 2 December 2002.