Ghana scored 59.7 per cent on the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Petroleum Transparency and Accountability (P-TRAC) Index score for 2011
A report by the Institute made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday, said “The overall 2011 score of 59.7 per cent shows that although some progress has been made in the year under review to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of Ghana’s oil and gas resources, more needs to be done in the coming years”.
It indicated that the country’s performance in the oil and gas sector had shown that considerable improvements were needed to improve transparency and accountability.
The P-TRAC Index is a project undertaken by IEA to promote transparency and accountability in the management of Ghana’s precious oil and gas resources.
The IEA explained that, the 2011 P-TRAC Index measured transparency based on the provision of publicly available information in four key areas – Contract Transparency, Revenue Transparency, Expenditure Transparency and management of the Heritage and Stabilisation Funds – for 2011.
A score is awarded based on the fulfilment of specified criteria for each component, which is then averaged to give an overall result.
The highest scoring component was Contract Transparency, which measures the public disclosure of information regarding the award of contracts, with a score of 66.7 per cent.
The publication of Environmental Impact Assessments by the Jubilee Partners was awarded a score of 100 per cent.
Other components such as the establishment of the Petroleum Commission, as the authority awarding contracts, the constitutional mandate of Parliament to ratify and scrutinise contracts, and the openness and competiveness of the licensing process, also performed relatively strongly.
The publication of information on licensing by government, public disclosure of oil and gas agreements, and process for appealing a license grant application were however, highlighted as areas in need of improvement.
The P-TRAC report awarded Revenue Transparency a score of 64.3 per cent and showed a varied result in the publication of reports.
Expenditure Transparency scored an average of 63.9 per cent for the frequency and quality of reports regarding expenditures from the Government’s share of revenues.
The review of projects receiving funding from the oil and gas revenue and the extent of their potential developmental impacts in areas of priority was reasonably positive and scored 88.6 per cent.
The lowest scoring component of the Index was the management of the Heritage and Stabilisation Funds, with an average transparency score of 44 per cent.
While it is pleasing to see that the Constitutional requirement for the accounts of the funds to be audited are being fulfilled, the 2011 audited reports has not yet been published by the Auditor General at the time the Index was compiled.
The score was negatively impacted by the lack of information on the performance of the Heritage and Stabilisation Funds, which is supposed to be published semi-annually by the Bank of Ghana.