Finance Minister-nominee, Ken Ofori-Atta says his outfit will meet with the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) in the coming days to resolve grievances concerning the government’s utilisation of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
He disclosed that the meeting will be done after the Easter celebrations.
According to him, the arrangement for the said meeting was done on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta appearing before the Appointments Committee on Friday, March 26, 2021, for the second part of his vetting said, “We will meet with the new Chairman of PIAC to resolve issues concerning the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) expenditure after the Easter break. The contact was made yesterday.”
What are the issues with PIAC?
PIAC had accused the Ministry of failing to provide it with information on how the government spent the country’s oil revenue under the ABFA for four straight years.
The committee in its 2020 first-half report stated that: “this report does not contain information on Annual Budget Funding Amount utilisation because the Ministry of Finance had not provided the data as at the time of publishing this report.”
In its recommendations, it called on Parliament “to bring its oversight mandate to bear on the Ministry of Finance.”
“This is because the Ministry’s persistent failure (fourth time) to provide half-year data on ABFA utilisation is not only adversely affecting the work of the Committee, but also eroding gains in the fight for transparency and accountability in the management and use of Ghana’s petroleum revenues for the benefit of citizens,” PIAC captured in the report.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta had earlier said the delay in providing the PIAC with data on how the government expended the said funds do not tantamount to corruption.
“We have had a series of meetings with PIAC to try and reconcile these numbers and I can assure the House (Parliament) that this is not tantamount to any type of corruption from the Ministry of Finance or the government in any way. So we should be clear on that.”
“Mr. Chairman, let me assure you that all these issues will be resolved and have a happy medium with PIAC going forward. There may be honest some mistakes, but there is no profligacy on our part or excess of arrogance as to the use of public money,” he added.