Business News of Wednesday, 9 January 2019
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has cited the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) as the reason behind the delay in their publication of the Semi-Annual Report, on the management of petroleum revenues for the first half of 2018.
According to PIAC, the just-released report for the first half of 2018 is without the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) expenditure data for the period.
“This is because, the Ministry of Finance failed to honour PIAC’s request for the data in question, in good time for its inclusion in the Committee’s analysis.”
It was noted that the initial data request, which was for revenue and expenditure, was made in a letter dated 17 July 2018, and addressed to the Minister of Finance. But the Ministry in response provided only the revenue data, leaving out the expenditure component.
PIAC said after several verbal reminders to staff of the Ministry, the Committee followed up with a letter dated October 4, 2018, reminding the Minister that, his delay in providing the requested data had caused PIAC to slip on the deadline for filing its semi-annual report, and urged him to treat the matter with utmost urgency. This reminder also went unheeded.
At the hearing of PIAC’s 2017 Annual Report by the Finance, Mines, and Energy Committees of Parliament, on November 7, 2018, PIAC said it again brought to attention, the non-response of the Ministry of Finance to its request for expenditure data.
But, in spite of promises by the Ministry to provide the data immediately after the hearing, it was not until December 17, 2018, that the expenditure data was supplied, by which time the report had been finalised.
“PIAC, therefore, blames the Ministry of Finance for the Committee’s inability to comply with the statutory timelines for its report, and for the exclusion of the ABFA expenditure analysis from the report.”
In a statement signed by the Chairman of PIAC, Dr. Steve Manteaw, it said “While the Committee intends to continue bringing to public notice all reporting entities who fail to respond timeously to its request for data, it is of the view that, a more sustainable way of eliminating the incidence of delays or non-compliance with its requests for data, will be the institution of sanctions through future amendment to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act.”
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee, (PIAC), established an Act of Parliament, in September 2011, is tasked with the oversight responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources by the Government and relevant stakeholder institutions.
The Act, as amended by Act 893, enjoins PIAC to publish a semi-annual and annual report. The Report is a reconciliation of data supplied by stakeholder institutions and an independent assessment of the collection and management of the country’s petroleum revenues for the period