Services of the PCA

  • The PCA carries out evaluations on behalf of the Control Committees (CCs) of the National Council and the Council of States on the lawfulness, appropriateness and effectiveness of activities conducted by the federal authorities.
  • It indicates to the CCs issues, which it considers should be examined in depth as part of parliamentary oversight.
  • It monitors on behalf of the CCs the quality of evaluations initiated by the Federal Administration itself, and their application within decision-making processes.
  • The PCA conducts short evaluations for the CCs to clarify specific questions and supports them in following up on previous investigations.
  • The PCA may, at the request of other parliamentary committees, conduct evaluations on the effectiveness of measures taken by the Confederation. 

 

Legal bases and institutional context of the PCA

The legal bases of the PCA are set out in the Parliament Act (ParlA) and the Parliamentary Administration Ordinance (PAdminO). In particular, article 67, 153 and 156 of the ParlA and article 10 of the PAdminO provide the PCA with substantial rights to information:

  • The PCA deals directly with all federal authorities, public agencies and other bodies entrusted with tasks by the Confederation and may request from them all relevant documentation and information,
  • the principle of professional confidentiality does not restrict the authorities’ obligation to provide information,
  • the PCA may call on the services of experts outside the federal administration, who are therefore granted the necessary rights.

 

Part of the Parliamentary Services, the PCA is administratively subordinated to the secretariat of the CC.

The PCA carries out its scientific activities independently. It works on the basis of mandates on behalf of parliamentary committees.
The PCA bases its methods on the standards set by the Swiss Evaluation Society (SEVAL) and international associations which specialise in that area. It coordinates its activities with those of other federal controlling bodies and is in regular contact with universities, private research institutes as well as Swiss and foreign public evaluation bodies.