Section 63. The following words and phrases, as used in this section and in section sixty-four, shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is required by the context:
“Agency”, a separate agency or unit of state government created or established by law, including, but not limited to, the following and the officers thereof: authority, board, branch, bureau, commission, constitutional office, county government, department, division, institution, office, officers, or public corporation, as the case may be, except any such agency or unit within the legislative branch of the government of the commonwealth.
“Audit”, an examination of activities or transactions completed in a prior fiscal year.
“Bureaus”, the legislative post audit and oversight bureaus.
“Committees”, the respective committees on post audit and oversight of the senate and house of representatives.
“Performance auditing”, an auditing program conducted for the particular purpose of making an appraisal or evaluation of the efficiency of operations, the effectiveness of programs, and the faithfulness of administrative compliance with the intent of legislation and administrative regulations affecting a specified agency of the commonwealth.
The committees shall oversee the development and implementation of legislative auditing programs to be conducted by the bureaus with special emphasis on performance auditing. The committees receive the reports of the department of the state auditor and the legislative auditors and shall determine what remedial measures, if any, are necessary. The committees shall have the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and compel the production of books, papers, documents and other evidence in connection with any authorized examination and review. If the committees shall deem special studies or investigations to be necessary, they may direct their legislative auditors to undertake such studies or investigations. The committees shall report to their respective branches, from time to time, with recommendations for legislative action based on their review of the reports of the department of the state auditor or on the findings and recommendations of the legislative auditors. The committees may report to any joint standing committee of the general court findings and recommendations affecting matters before such committees.
The committees shall meet monthly at the call of the senate chairman or house chairman and at such other times as shall be deemed necessary by the said chairmen. Said committees may sit during the recess of the general court. Members of the committees shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses and, while the general court is not in session, shall be reimbursed for travel and expenses to and from their homes to the state house at the same rate as that paid to members of the general court while it is in session.