Public Interest & Accountability
Committee

FAQ'S

How and when was PIAC established?
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) was established by an Act of Parliament, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Act 815) 2011. The bill was first passed in March 2011 by the Parliament of Ghana and amended in 2015. The Committee was however inaugurated in September 2011 but actually started meeting the following month.
What sort of organisation are you?
PIAC is a citizens-led independent statutory organisation with representation from various groups and institutions in the country.

The nominating institutions from where PIAC derives its membership are; independent policy research think tanks, civil-society organisations and community-based organisations, Trade Union Congress, National House of Chiefs,  Association of Queen Mothers, Association of Ghana Industries and Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Bar Association, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Christian groups namely the National Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council and the Ghana Pentecostal Council on a rotational basis, the Federation of Muslim Councils and Ahmadiyya Mission on a rotational basis, and Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.
What does PIAC do?
The Accountability Committee has a three-point mandate as outlined in the PRMA

•    To monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by government and relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investments as provided in the Act

•    To provide space and platform for the public to debate whether spending prospects and management and use of revenues conform to development priorities as provided under section 21 (3)

•    To provide independent assessment on the management and use of petroleum revenues to assist parliament and the executive in the oversight and the performance of related functions respectively. In addition to this mandate, the committee’s functions include;

•    To consult widely on best practice related to the management and use of petroleum revenues
•    Determine the rules of procedure under which it will operate
What does transparency mean?
For PIAC, transparency implies that the citizens of Ghana are provided sufficient information to know what rules guide the development of petroleum resources, who is given the responsibility to develop these resources and how much revenue is generated from these resources.

Transparency is a tool that helps citizens assess government’s management of petroleum wealth and hold her to account.
Why is PIAC referred to as an Accountability Institution?
Accountability is the responsiveness of government to the demands of citizens regarding the management of petroleum revenues. This means that the Committee provides a platform for the citizens to influence the decisions of government in managing oil and gas revenues and the government is answerable to the citizens.
What makes PIAC unique?
The uniqueness of PIAC stems from the fact that it is a citizens-led oversight body with representation from various segments of society who are sworn in by the Minister of Finance to exercise oversight over the same Minster and the government.
 
Who pays for PIAC’s activities?

PIAC has two main sources of funding for its activities; Government of Ghana funds and Donor funds.

Currently, PIAC’s donors are GIZ and DFID. GIZ sponsors the printing of PIAC’s annual and semi-annual reports as well as some of its public activities. DFID provides funding support for capacity development and technical assistance in a five-year Accountable Grant Agreement between PIAC, NRGI and DFID.

What has been the impact of PIAC since its establishment?
PIAC has kept government on its toes through the issues raised in its annual and semi-annual reports and press releases some of which have received attention from government.

The Committee has also provided a huge platform for the public to debate government’s management and use of oil revenues through PIAC’s public forums which have so far been held in eight regions of Ghana.

In addition, PIAC’s advocacy has ensured that government complies with the PRMA and where there are challenges with implementation, PIAC has raised concerns and proposed changes which led to amendment of the Act.The new Act (Act 893)addresses some of the implementation bottlenecks of the parent Act (Act 815)
How does PIAC get its information and data?
PIAC relies on data and information from stakeholder institutions and companies for its reports. Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Revenue Authority, Auditor General’s Department, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Petroleum Commission are the main sources of information and data for PIAC.

 

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