Purpose – This paper reviews and analyses the discourse recorded in the Hansard of the Australian Federal Parliament’s Senate Legislation Committees to determine if this parliamentary accountability process contributes to the (re)production of dominance and inequality in the public sector. Design/methodology/approach – This research is based on a relatively new approach termed critical investigative inquiry which, in this paper, is based on critical discourse analysis informed and supported by rudimentary content analysis and thematic analysis. Practical implications – This paper provides insights into the use of Senate Legislative Committees as an avenue for elites to exert dominance over those who do not have an opportunity to resist as well as challenge the taken for granted status of this public sector financial accountability process. Originality/value – This research paper contributes to the literature on the use of critical discourse analysis in examining the (re)production of dominance and inequality in the discharge of public sector accountability. The research also presents a relatively unique methodology to examine and analyse discourse.