Financial and other logistical challenges have delayed the release and subsequent publication of the semi-annual report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) on petroleum revenue accrued in 2012.
A draft of the semi-annual, report has been completed by the PIAC in October and is currently being reviewed by stakeholders like the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
When the stakeholders have finished reviewing the draft report, the final approved report will be posted on the website of the PIAC and a press release and/or an advertiser’s announcement will be published in state-owned newspapers. But it is not known whether the report will be published this year or in 2013.
This was disclosed in an exclusive interview with Mr Ishmael Edjekumhene, the Executive Director of Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE) who represents Civil Society and Community-based Organisations on the PIAC.
Mr. Edjekumhene said the final semiannual PIAC report could not be published on September 15, 2012 as statutorily required because the Committee lacks funds. ‘The reason why we have not published the report is that we don’t have money. We have run out of money and we haven’t been given money by the state. Even our allowances have not been paid,” he said.
He said as a statutory Committee, “We are under-resourced and we are demanding that they [the government] should adequately resource us to be able to do our work efficiently.” He explained that the first annual PIAC report was due to be published in March, 2012 but due to lack of funds, it was launched in May this year.
When the chairperson of the PIAC, Major Daniel Ablorh-Quarcoo (Rtd.), was contacted, he said members of the Committee have been assured by the relevant government agencies and officials that funds would soon be made available to the PI AC to run its operations. The second annual PIAC report is expected to be published on March 15, 2013.
The 12-member PIAC was inaugurated by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, on September 15, 2011. The PIAC, an additional public oversight body in the management of Ghana’s petroleum revenue, was created by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815) which was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President on 11th April, 2011. The Act provides the framework for the management of petroleum revenue in a responsible, accountable and sustainable manner for the benefit of Ghanaians in accordance with best international practices.
The membership of the PIAC is made up of identifiable civil society groups in the country. Section 56 of Act 815 requires the Committee to “(a) publish a semi-annual report and an annual report in at least two state owned national daily newspapers by the 15th of September and 15th of March each year, (b) publish the reports on the Accountability Committee’s website;(c) hold public meetings twice each year to report on its mandate to the general public, and (d) submit a copy of its semi-annual report and an annual report to the President and to Parliament.”