Essays on The Role of Parliament in Australia Case Study

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The paper 'The Role of Parliament in Australia " is a perfect example of a finance and accounting case study. The role of parliament in Australia has come under a lot of scrutiny from different interest groups. Parliamentary accountability gives lawmakers the power to monitor, investigate and audit government processes to ensure they conform to existing laws. The parliamentary model of governance used in Australia has similarities with other governance systems in other commonwealth member countries (Dowding & Lewis 2012). As a result, various political representatives in parliament have been given more responsibilities to make laws on behalf of other citizens and monitor the government to ensure it discharges its mandate more effectively.

This paper will examine whether the parliament remains an effective accountability system in Australia. Responsibility and accountability All governments have to be responsive to a particular body which is required to represent the interests of the majority in any country. The parliamentary system ensures that key decisions which are made by the government are given more consideration to ensure that parliamentary representatives are able to assess their consequences on other citizens living in an area.

As a result, this ensures that government officials understand specific duties they are required to perform. The parliament has over the years sought to increase its control over important decision-making processes in government (Lindell & Bennett 2001). As a result, parliamentary representatives are heavily involved in political processes which have ramifications on the way Australian citizens live as they go about their daily duties. Political representatives have to work harder to gain favour with the public to ensure laws which are made and enforced are able to address their concerns and satisfy their political expectations. Parliamentary accountability in Australia allows the parliament to play its watchdog role over the executive in matters that have a lot of consequence for the government (Loney 2008).

The parliament has to be involved in formulating government policy and all representatives have to support or oppose policies being implemented to ensure they exercise their democratic right freely. Since the parliamentary system borrows heavily from the Westminster parliamentary systems, more individuals in the house of the representatives have a duty to play in making sure that the government follows the law put in place as it executes its functions.

Therefore, the government is expected to set a positive trend by exercising good governance in the manner it performs its duties in the country. For parliament to play its role more effectively, all members have to create internal systems that make them divide different tasks they are expected to perform more effectively. They need to find out the best methods in which they can propose and implement specific policy improvements to ensure they meet standards of good parliamentary practice.

For instance, to parliamentary oversight committees make it possible for the parliament to perform its accountability role in the country more effectively. Moreover, parliamentary oversight committees make it possible for parliament to have specialised internal units which focus on specific functions to ensure that they meet and satisfy the expectations of various interest groups in the country (Griffith 2005). Parliamentary oversight committees can perform legislative functions, public accounts and finance functions, budgetary functions, policy and administrative functions. They can also be involved in the supervision of various bodies created by the government which have been chosen to perform various administrative roles in the country.

The legislative oversight committees ensure that the government does not violate the rights of people as it discharges its functions in the country. Public accounts committees are formed to monitor government expenditure to ensure that monies which have been set aside for various budgetary purposes are spent on the right purposes. Budgetary, policy and administrative committees are used to make sure that the executive conforms to the letter and spirit of the constitution as it performs its duties (Jacobs & Jones 2009).

More importantly, this ensures that the executive understands what it is expected to do to ensure public funds are spent on projects that have viable benefits for the public.

References

Cooper, K, Funnell, W, Lee, J 2012, Public sector accounting and accountability in Australia, New South Publishing, Sydney.

Dowding, KM & Lewis, C 2012, Ministerial careers and accountability in the Australian commonwealth government, ANU E Publishing, Melbourne.

Griffith, G 2005, ‘Parliament and accountability: the role of parliamentary oversight committees’, New South Wales Parliamentary Briefing Paper No 12/05.

Jacobs, K & Jones, K 2009, ‘Legitimacy and parliamentary oversight in Australia: the rise and fall of two public accounts committees’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol.22, no. 1, pp. 13-33.

Lindell, G & Bennett, R L 2001, Parliament: the vision in hindsight, Federation Press, Sydney.

Loney, P 2008, ‘Executive accountability to parliament —reality or rhetoric?’, Australasian Parliamentary Review, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 157–165.

McGee, D 2002, The overseers: public accounts committees and public spending, London, Pluto Press.

Pelizzo, R & Stapenhurst, F 2013, Parliamentary oversight tools: a comparative analysis, Routledge, London.

Roberts, J 2009, ‘No one is perfect: the limits of transparency and an ethic for ‘intelligent’ accountability’, Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 34, pp. 957-970.

Russell, P & Milne, C 2011, ‘Adjusting to a new era of parliamentary government’, Report of a Workshop on Constitutional Conventions David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights Faculty of Law, University of Toronto February 3-4, 2011, pp. 1-15.

Sawer, M, Abjorensen, N & Larkin, P 2009, Australia: the state of democracy, Federation Press, Sydney.

Uhr, J 1998, Deliberative democracy in Australia: the changing place of parliament, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

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