The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the oil revenue watchdog, in its pursuit of its mandate has embarked on various programs and activities since it inception, 10 years ago.
The committee, which consists of 13 members, and a supporting secretariat, is headed by a Coordinator and has published 19 reports – 10 annual and nine semi-annual reports – covering the period 2011 to 2020.
The committee, in August 2020, published an Issue Paper cataloguing a number of issues that needed urgent attention in the petroleum revenue management space.
Being the first of its kind by PIAC, the paper highlighted such issues as the extension of expenditure by government to cover more than the four selected priority areas, the thin-spread of the revenue over many projects, non-utilisation and failure to account for the full ABFA allocation.
In fulfillment of Section 56(c) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), which requires the committee to hold public meetings at least twice each year, the committee held two regional fora in Sunyani and Cape Coast.
As part of the public engagements in two regions; Eastern, and Ahafo, the committee undertook physical monitoring and verification of ABFA-funded projects in these Regions.
The project inspection exercise, which has become a regular feature in PIAC’s district engagements, seeks to verify the existence of reported ABFA-funded projects, obtain first-hand information on the quality and impact of the projects and, make an informed assessment of how well the oil revenues are being applied.
Most of the district engagements were preceded by in-studio radio discussions, which informed the public about the work of PIAC.
Infrastructure and Service Delivery in Health Priority Area
PIAC, as part of its drive to influence policy on the management and use of petroleum revenues convened a technical roundtable to assess petroleum revenue investments in the health sector over the years.
The forum made a strong case for increased investments into health sector financing to ensure equity and access.
The forum also highlighted the need for strategic and technical prioritisation of the sector and projects to receive adequate funding.
Engagement with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ)
Besides its advocacy for the establishment of PIAC, the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) as a partner of the Committee, continues to play an active role in the activities of PIAC.
These contributions include analysing PIAC’s statutory reports, and dissemination of the findings and recommendations. The engagement was centred on the 2019 Semi-annual and Free SHS Monitoring reports of PIAC.