Holding Executives Accountable: Mechanisms and Tools for Parliamentary Control, Oversight and Scrutiny

Panel Code
Open Panel
In Person

To exercise control over the executive is a key function of parliaments that historically precedes the legislative function. At the same time, providing a way to check and influence maladministration is a central requirement for any legitimate system of public service delivery. The panel explores different ways that parliaments hold executives accountable, either directly or through the use of intermediate actors and institutions. Thus, different tools of parliamentary oversight and scrutiny will be discussed: (1) the use of question rights, public hearings or investigating committees as core parliamentary institutions, (2) parliamentary support organizations such as ombudspeople, auditing committees or petition systems and (3) the linkage to civil society organizations and the classic and “social” media. New forms of interactions between citizens and parliaments (such as mini public or citizen councils) will also be explored in the context of exercising the parliamentary control function. The overarching question is what effects such interaction has, both with regard to policy influence on the given topic, but also more broadly regarding societal trust in institutions and their legitimacy. The panels seeks contributions that study oversight, control and accountability mechanisms in single political systems as well as comparative analyses, both from junior and senior scholars, employing a variety of methodological approaches.