Govt Audits Oil Funded Projects
Government has given the strongest positive feedback on dealing with challenges that have bedeviled the use of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) in the execution of selected projects across the country.
The ABFA is the account set up by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) to receive allocation from oil and gas revenue in support of the national budget. Its use and expenditure are subject to the same budgetary processes that are necessary to ensure efficient allocation, responsible use and effective monitoring of expenditure.
The Ministry of Planning says government is taking measures to deal with the issues that have over the past years occasioned the misuse of the ABFA, and the weak monitoring of projects funded with petroleum revenues among other challenges.
Both the Ministries of Finance and Planning are collaborating in auditing oil funded projects and also ascertaining where specific projects are needed.
Technical Advisor on Energy and Petroleum Policy to the Minister for Planning, Dr Ishmael Ackah at that Ministry’s 5th Policy Dialogue organised in Accra said “government has decided to institutionalize a strong monitoring framework to strengthen the allocation disbursement and use of the ABFA.”
67 projects inspected in 2017, report ready for launching
A report detailing the results of inspections carried out on oil funded projects by the MOP in 2017 was ready, Dr Ackah disclosed.
Out of the 67 projects were 17 goods and services projects – the free SHS policy and its impact so far and fertilizer subsidies extended to farmers.
Results of inspections corroborate findings of PIAC
When the report is compared with those of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and that from PRIS, “it is obvious that some of the issues raised are real and need to be solved.”
Decentralised monitoring of projects via the PRIS
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Planning (MOP) had from last year under the Petroleum Revenue Information System (PRIS), trained officers of all district assemblies to monitor the execution of oil funded projects and report back to Accra “with pictures.”
“After receiving the information from the officers on the ground, the two ministries come together and issue a report,” Dr Ackah stated.
Online platform to feature all projects
According to Dr Ackah, beyond the submission of report by regional development officers and the subsequent compilation of a report and publication of same, the information will be put online.
“Every oil funded project will be on that platform, the status of implementation of projects, percentage of completion and other essential details will be on the platform,” he added.
Govt moves to cure thin spread of ABFA over too many projects
To cure the problem of spreading oil revenues thinly across several projects, the Ministry of Finance is rationalizing expenditure in terms of providing funds to meet the costs of fewer projects.
Source; The Finder