1st Edition

Enhanced Parliamentary Oversight Promoting Good Governance in Smaller States

    202 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Very little research has been conducted on how parliamentary oversight is undertaken in small countries and jurisdictions or across the southern African region (excluding South Africa). This groundbreaking book fills that void, providing rich insights into how oversight works in these countries.

    Featuring an expert group of scholars and practitioners, the book builds off previous research projects to offer detailed case study examinations of oversight across various global regions, including various Australian and Canadian jurisdictions, UK Crown and Overseas dependencies, Caribbean islands, autonomous Nordic territories, Southern Africa and several Pacific island states. Contributors present the most recent data on current developments in the world, including sub-national parliaments, drawing on primary research and first-hand experiences to offer greater theoretical and practical understanding into practices that could be adapted to improve oversight and governance, reduce corruption and boost economic development.

    Enhanced Parliamentary Oversight will be an important book for practitioners, governments and both scholars and students of legislative studies, international relations and public administration.

    1. Context and Overview

    Frederick Stapenhurst

    2. Theory and Research Design

    Frederick Stapenhurst

    3. Public Accounts Committees in Australian Small Jurisdictions

    Dalia Feldberg, Isabelle Watkinson and Anthony Staddon

    4. Public Accounts Committees in Small Jurisdictions in the British Isles and Mediterranean Region

    Anthony Staddon

    5. Public Accounts Committees in Canada’s Small Provinces and Territories

    Lesley Burns

    6. Public Accounts Committees in Nordic Small Legislatures

    Isabelle Côté, Isabelle Watkinson and Gitte Korff

    7. Public Accounts Committees in the Caribbean Region

    Anthony Staddon

    8. Public Accounts Committees in Small Pacific Island States

    Kevin Deveaux, Anthony Staddon and Isabelle Watkinson

    9. Public Account Committees in South African Development Community Small States

    Anthony Staddon

    10. Conclusion – Towards a Best Practice Guide for PACs in Smaller Jurisdictions

    Frederick Stapenhurst and Isabelle Watkinson

    Annex: Offshore Financial Centres in Small States

    Isabelle Watkinson, Dalia Feldberg and Daniella Springer


    Frederick Stapenhurst is Associate Professor and Parliamentary Programs Coordinator at McGill University, Canada. He is a former board member at Parliamentary Centre, member of Transparency International and North American co-chair of the Research Committee of Legislative Specialists. Prior to joining McGill University, he worked at the World Bank concentrating on anti-corruption and parliamentary development and writing extensively on these issues.

    Anthony Staddon is an Independent Political and Parliamentary Consultant and Instructor at McGill University School of Continuing Studies, located in London, United Kingdom.

    Isabelle Watkinson is a strategic management and international business student and research assistant at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, located in Oakville, Canada.

    Lesley Burns is Vice-President of Oversight at the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation, located in Ottawa, Canada.

    "The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has an active Small Branches network for jurisdictions with a population of under one million. This excellent book will be of particular interest to them but has lessons for a wider audience. It builds upon previous research on the role and importance of financial oversight to good governance, drawing upon a diverse range of examples from within and outside the Commonwealth. I was particularly interested to read the chapter about best practice which concludes that there is neither a "silver bullet" nor a "one size fits all" guide, arguing instead for a "best fit" approach and for future research to be country-focused. There is a fascinating annex about Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) and I would welcome further research into parliamentary oversight of OFCs."

    Stephen Twigg, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)

    "Overseeing and scrutinizing government action is a key function of parliaments and legislatures. It requires the proper institutions, sufficient resources and the right skills of MPs and their staff. Comparing the practice of financial oversight in small parliaments around the globe provides for an enlightening study: first, it has received little academic attention so far. But more important, the diversity and variation can help identify good practices to be applied elsewhere."

    Sven T. Siefken, Professor of Political Science, Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences, Germany