arliament’s Public Accounts Committee is accusing government of sabotaging the work of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC).
PIAC, an institution mandated to monitor how the oil revenue is used, has since 2013 been starved of funds which has affected the state institution’s ability to monitor government’s management of Ghana’s oil revenue.
Ranking member of the Public Accounts Committee, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie told Joy News’ parliamentary correspondent Elton Brobbey PIAC has not been able to track the projects government claims it has used the oil revenue for.
In the whole of 2013, for instance, PIAC could only carry out its educational drive in the Volta Region.
“Other nine regions have been deprived of how government is really managing the resources (oil revenue). The reason being that the Finance Ministry is not giving them the budget allocations for them to carry out their mandate. For me it is a sabotage on what government is doing with the resources,” Mr Tetteh Chaie lamented.
PIAC’s financial situation was too dire that its officials were nearly thrown out of their office at Asylum Down in 2014 because they could not pay for their rent.
Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Samuel Atta Akyea says the committee will haul the Finance Minister to answer how the oil revenue was spent and why PIAC is being starved of funds.
He said “we don’t have transparency and accountability. We do not know whether the revenue from the oil sector is being misapplied. We cannot even be sure. And therefore we need to push the government to come clean on this matter. We will haul the Finance Minister before the house to divulge how monies are being applied relating to petroleum revenue.”
He alleged PIAC is not being resourced so that it would not have the capacity to do it work well “in order not to bring out the rot” in the management of the oil revenue.
PIAC, he said, has now been reduced to doing analyses in the office because it cannot go to the fields to establish proof of any projects executed with money accrued from oil.
But the Chairman of the Finance Committee, James Avedzi suggests PIAC must engage the Finance Ministry to get funds to operate while the amended Petroleum Revenue Management Act, which will now cater for its funding, takes effect in 2016.
He also admitted that PIAC is not the only institution struggling to raise funds from the Finance Ministry, explaining it is not because the ministry is refusing to release funds, but funds are not available .