MPs take evidence on management of short-term prison sentences

24 March 2010

Committee of Public Accounts takes evidence on the management of short-term prison sentences. Watch live from 3.30 pm


  • Phil Wheatley, Chief Executive, National Offender Management Service

The role of the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) is to examine "the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit".

What this means in practice is that the Committee’s work is based on the reports of the National Audit Office (NAO), in particular their value for money studies of whether publicly-funded bodies are operating with economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Neither the Committee nor the NAO can look at policy, only the way in which it has been implemented. As a result, the Committee never calls Ministers, but only senior officials, usually including the permanent secretary, in the department concerned.

Image: iStockphoto

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