PIAC urges government to come clear on 2017 ABFA allocation

By Lydia
Kukua Asamoah, GNA

Accra, Oct 15, GNA – The Public Interest and
Accountability Committee (PIAC) says it is dissatisfied with the response of
the Ministry of Finance on the whereabouts of an unspent amount of GH¢403.74
million Cedis.

It has, therefore, reiterated its call on the
Ministry to provide further particulars as to the whereabouts and the
utilisation of the said Annual Budget Funding Account (ABFA) amount to enable
PIAC to perform its mandate of informing the citizenry.

The Finance Ministry had earlier in a
statement repudiated claims by PIAC that the Ministry could not account for the
amount.

An earlier statement signed by the Chief
Director of the Ministry had said that the ABFA in 2017 received GH¢733.2
million out of which GH¢329.5 million was used to pay for projects, while the
remaining GH¢403.7 million was transferred into the Treasury’s main account in
2017.

The statement said the transfer was in line
with the provisions of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in Section 46 of the
Public Financial Management  Act (PFMA),
2016 (Act 921) that required that all 
government balances should be part of TSA.  

However, speaking at a News conference on
Monday in Accra, Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairman of PIAC, said the response given by
the Ministry that the said amount was transferred into the TSA in 2017 in
accordance with Section 46 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act
921)  was unacceptable.

PIAC said the act of transfer, rather raised
further issues, as to “when the money was transferred into the Treasury
Account”, How is the specific amount of GH¢403.74 million, being petroleum
revenue accounted for?

Dr Manteaw said the Ministry’s explanation as
to the transfer of the amount into the TSA, defeated the entire purpose of the
Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815 ) which “was enacted  specifically to provide the framework for the
collection, allocation and management of petroleum revenue in a responsible,
transparent, accountable and sustainable manner”.  

“To argue that the transfer was to avoid
government cash balances sitting in various accounts, while Government borrows
at expensive rates to finance important expenditures, suggests that the money
was spent, ostensibly on programmes and activities not budgeted for under the
ABFA”, PIAC said.

Dr Manteaw said PIAC would in the interest of
Ghanaians work with other state institutions like EOCO, Office of the Special
Prosecutor and CHRAJ to ensure that the matter was dealt with logically.

GNA

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