Public Accounts Committees in Eastern Africa: A Comparative Analysis

28 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014

See all articles by Riccardo Pelizzo

Riccardo Pelizzo

Nazarbayev University

Abel Kinyondo

Policy Research for Development, REPOA

Date Written: April 17, 2014


Properly functioning Public Accounts Committees (PACs) are essential for promoting good governance, preventing misallocation of resources and curbing corruption. The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the organization, powers and the performance of East Africa’s PACs so as to understand what they do, what makes them work well and what could make them work better. The analysis reveals that the Tanzania’s PAC is the most active in the region because while it has fewer resources at its disposal than its Eastern African counterparts, it makes a more efficient use of the available resources as indicated by the fact that the Tanzanian Pac was able to carry out more oversight activities than the other PACs operating in the region in spite of having fewer resources. This evidence sustains the claim that legislators’ political will is the single most important determinant of effective oversight. On the basis of the evidence presented in the paper, we formulate two policy recommendations: that in order to secure a more effective PAC performance, international organizations should pay greater attention to ensuring that legislators have the will to be effective overseers and that the Tanzania’s PAC needs to be more adequately staffed and resourced.

Keywords: public accounts committees, legislative studies, Africa, public administration

JEL Classification: G38, H10, H50, H61

Suggested Citation

Pelizzo, Riccardo and Kinyondo, Abel, Public Accounts Committees in Eastern Africa: A Comparative Analysis (April 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Riccardo Pelizzo (Contact Author)

Nazarbayev University ( email )

53 Kabanbay Batyra Avenue
Astana, 010000

Abel Kinyondo

Policy Research for Development, REPOA ( email )

P.O. Box 33223
Dar es Salaam

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