Some of the important measures of legislative control are as follows:
Legislation is the most important function of legislature. By laying down rules through legislative enactments, the legislatures limit as well as influence the authority and policies of the government.
The executive is at the mercy of legislature for all aspects of revenue and expenditure. No revenue can be levied nor can any expenditure incurred without the sanction of the legislature. Moreover, the budgetary discussion provides opportunity to the representatives of the people to criticize the government on aspects that are unwarranted.
It is the most effective means of legislative control over executive.
In India, the report of CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) of India helps exercising legislative control. CAG audits all government accounts to ensure that the money has been spent on items for which it was granted and does not exceed the sanctioned amount.
The proceeding of the Parliament start with one hour duration question answer session. Wherein the minister of respective department gives reply to query of members the effectiveness of this measure is highlighted by Mr. Atlee, who observes that “I always consider that question time in the house is one of the finest examples of real democracy.”
Zero hour discussion is an extra regular method that is entirely an Indian innovation since 1962. It is invoked after question hour (with the consent of presiding officer) to incite opinions on matter of public importance which have not been listed in days business.
This device is used to bring the matters of urgent importance on the floor of the house.
Short notice discussion is discretion of the speaker in case of matters which does not satisfy a member’s question. It is resorted only with the consent of the government, not otherwise.
A device to raise discussion on any specific question of an urgent nature however, this device is usually not preferred by the speaker.
Apart from the measures cited above, there are number instances that provide opportunity to members to discuss and debate on government policies.
i. inaugural speech of the President
ii. budget speech of the Finance Minister
iii. general discussion on the budget
iv. Full scale discussion of Government policies.
There are a number of committees that help exercise legislative control over executive. They are as follows:
i. Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
a. examines report of CAG
b. submits its report to the lower House
ii. Estimates Committee
a. scrutinizes the government expenditure before they are included in the budget.
b. carries its examination throughout the year and helps in checking extravagance.
Besides these two, there are other committees which help the legislature in exercising control over administration.