The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has reported that there is significant progress in enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of Ghana’s oil and gas resources in it Petroleum Transparency and Accountability (P-TRAC) index project.
The P-TRAC index project was initiated in 2011 to track progress in the governance of the of the oil and gas value chain, namely, Revenue Transparency, Expenditure, Contract Transparency and Management of the Ghana Petroleum Funds.
The key findings of the 2012 are as follows.
The overall score for the Revenue Transparency in 2012 was 69.9%, which indicates a 6% improvement over the score of 64.3% recorded in 2011. The results indicate that there has been some improvement in Revenue Transparency since it last report was published.
In this regard, the report noted the need for parliament to pass important pieces of legislation currently before it, as well as those that are still in draft form.
In the area of Expenditure Transparency, the report observed a slight improvement over the previous year.
To enhance transparency, the report advocated the provision of more information on how the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is spent besides what is reported in the annual Budget Statement.
On the Contract Transparency, the report found that some progress has been made with the establishment of an independent authority to regulate the sector and to advise the government on the award of contracts and licenses.
However, the report noted again that there is a much more room for improvement by establishing a more open and transparent process of awarding contracts and licenses.
Touching on transparency in the management of the Ghana Petroleum Funds, the report observed the greatest improvement in the area since the last assessment in 2011.
But, the one major area of concern the report highlighted in this area is the lack of any information whatsoever on audited reports of the Ghana Petroleum Funds.
The report also made some policy recommendations. These include;
To enhance transparency and accountability, not just in the oil and gas sector, but also in the extractive industries, there is a need for speedy passage of the following bills: the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Bill, the Right to Information Bill, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, and the Marine Pollution Bill.
Advocate for speedy passage of the Budget Act to enhance Parliament’s ability to conduct comprehensive analysis of the budget.
Inclusive process of selecting projects for funding under the ABFA. In the medium term, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act should be reviewed to identify more specific projects for funding after consultations with stakeholders.
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