Adnan Adams Mohammed
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), an independent statutory body mandated to promote transparency and accountability in the management of petroleum revenues in the country has been inactive for some period now as the Energy Minister refuses to swear-in new nominees including the Chairman whose tenure has elapsed.
According to reliable information picked, the current committee has its mandate elapsed for some months now which has got new members nominated by representing institutions and associations and ready to be sworn-in so they could assume their oversight work as mandated.
From the source of information close to the Committee, the minister was supposed to swear-in the new members before November, but gave an excuse that they were busy with the budget preparation.
“Ironically, the budget had been prepared and presented over a month ago, yet the ministry is not showing any interest in the swearing-in. An event that takes less than 30 minutes to undertake”, the source lamented on anonymity.
The mission of PIAC is to be committed to ensuring efficient, transparent and accountable management of petroleum revenues and investments to secure the greatest social and economic benefit for the people of Ghana through active engagement with the government and citizens. This is to be accomplished by maintaining a balanced stance, exhibiting high integrity and remaining independent of sectional influences.
The statutory Accountability Committee has three main objects as outlined in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. These are; to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments; to provide space and platform for the public to debate on whether spending prospects and management and use of revenues conform to development priorities as provided under section 21 (3); and to provide independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist parliament and the executive in the oversight and the performance of related functions.
Also, the Committee’s functions include; to consult widely on best practice related to the management and use of petroleum revenues; and determine the rules of procedure under which it will operate.
The current Committee Members are:
Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairman, representing Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) with Dr Thomas Kojo Stephens as Vice Chairman, representing Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
Other members are:
Mr Joseph Winful, Member, representing Association of Chartered Accountants, Ghana; Dr. Affail Monney, Member, representing Ghana Journalists Association (GJA); Prof. Albert Fiadjoe, Member, representing Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS); Alhaji Alhassan Abdulai, Member, representing Muslim Groups; and Mr. Noble Wadzah, Member, representing Civil Society & Community-Based Organisations.
The rest are: Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, Member, representing National House of Chiefs; Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, Member, representing Christian Groups; Nana Agyenim Boateng, Member, representing Association of Ghana Industries and Ghana Chamber of Commerce; Kansawurche Hajia Bukari, Member, representing Queenmothers’ Association; Mrs. Mary Karimu, Member, representing Trades Union Congress (TUC); Prof. Akosua Keseboa Darkwah, Member, representing Independent Policy Think Tanks.