It is an axiom of democratic systems of government that public authority should always be subject to oversight so that those entrusted with authority do not abuse or overstep their power. Thus, legislatures establish committees of their members to watch over the executive departments of government, and judiciaries stand ready to review acts of both the executive and legislative branches.
This traditional kind of model still provides the backbone of democratic oversight. However, a newer and different kind of review process has become established to watch over key functions of government. Regulatory review has become established to watch over the regulatory functions of government (see blog of dec 1 2021) and budget review processes have been established to watch over the fiscal functions of government. What regulatory review and fiscal review share in common is the need for specialised knowledge and expertise to carry out the review.
This blog looks briefly at fiscal review. It asks whether it offers more general lessons for review functions.