May 28, 2020
Assessing Your Needs and Capacity
The first article of this two-part series will help you determine if your public accounts committee (PAC) needs additional research support.
Identify your committee’s research activities
The first step is determining your goals for your upcoming legislative session. This can include:
Identifying your committee’s activities will give you a realistic impression of what research support is needed.
Determine if there is a gap between your committee’s needs and your current research and analysis capacity
Once you have determined your PAC’s workload, you can assess this against the resources currently available to you. If there is a significant disparity between the two, you may want to look into acquiring additional resources.
If your PAC already has a researcher, ask yourself: does this person have the capacity to conduct the work?
If your PAC does not have a researcher (as is the case for some jurisdictions), a clerk of the committee can also be responsible for conducting some research (e.g., preparing briefing notes, drafting reports, follow-up analysis). Their contribution can add considerable value but must be balanced with other responsibilities that dedicated researchers do not have.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for part two of this series to learn about how to obtain additional research support.
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for part two of this series to learn about how to obtain additional research support. In the meantime, have a look at our recent publication How Researchers Assigned to Public Accounts Committees Can Strengthen Oversight.
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