The internationally collaborative and generally synchronous Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program offers an opportunity to compare procurement oversight between different partner nations. In democracies, parliamentary oversight plays an important role in public accountability and transparency.
This paper assesses the effectiveness of the Australian Parliament and its supporting agencies in conducting oversight of major defence procurements in comparison with other nations, using the JSF procurement as a case study. It compares the roles and effectiveness of Australia’s parliamentary committees, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) with the equivalent committees and agencies of the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Parliamentary oversight in Australia is hampered by the different roles of different committees and the organisations which contribute to Parliamentary oversight, resulting in fractured rather than unified oversight.