Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Ghana: Parliament approves oil revenue accountability committee

Parliament has voted in favour of clause 53 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill to establish a Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) despite reservations by the House Majority.

The new committee will ensure transparency in the management of petroleum revenue. Initially, the Majority were not in favour of the PIAC as they felt its duties could be performed by other state institutions. However, after consultation with the Minority, the House unanimously approved the clause.

Speaking during the parliamentary session, Majority leader Cletus Avoka stressed that while he approved the establishment of the committee, the House would have to further examine its functions and composition.

Chairman of the Energy Committee Moses Asaga wants the PIAC's powers to be limited to petroleum revenues only. Dr Anthony Akoto Osei – a member of Parliament's Finance Committee and the opposition Natioanl People Party – said that the PIAC could only function effectively if it is allowed to operate freely with few restrictions.

The House resumed debate on the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill last week after failing to pass it before going on recess.

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

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