PIAC rebukes Finance Ministry over failure to account for ABFA for fourth straight year

In its 2020 half-year report, the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has once again complained of a lack of cooperation from the Finance Ministry.

It says the Ministry did not provide half-year data on its Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) utilisation.

This consistent turn of event is limiting the effectiveness of the committee and eroding transparency, PIAC warned.

In its 2019 report, it described the Ministry as having acted with impunity after it did not account for the use of oil money allocated to the budget.

The Ministry was also cited for violating portions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 893 and Ghana Investment Infrastructure Fund (GIIF) Act 877 in that report.

The first half of 2020 marks the fourth time it has not provided data for this report, according to PIAC.

“It is important to indicate that this report does not contain information on Annual Budget Funding Amount utilisation because the Ministry of Finance had not provided the data as at the time of publishing this report,” the foreword read.

In its recommendations, it called on the Parliament “to bring its oversight mandate to bear on the Ministry of Finance.”

“This is because the Ministry’s persistent failure (fourth time) to provide half-year data on ABFA utilisation is not only adversely affecting the work of the Committee, but also eroding gains in the fight for transparency and accountability in the management and use of Ghana’s petroleum revenues for the benefit of citizens.”

The lack of Finance Ministry Data also “makes it difficult to reconcile disbursements and expenditure and undermines the spirit of accountability,” the report also said.

PIAC has been publishing reports on the management and use of petroleum revenues since the nation began producing oil in 2010.

This is in line with Section 56 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), 2011 (Act 815).

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