There was no disbursement of oil revenues into the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for the first half of this year to enable assemblies to continue oil-funded projects across the country.
The Ministry of Finance failed to make the transfer from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) although the projected allocation to the DACF for the entire 2022 is GH¢157,768,890.
According to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) this has stalled some of the development project ongoing in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
“The Ministry of Finance should ensure that the transfers to the DACF are done quarterly in order for the district assemblies to efficiently carry out their functions,” the committee, has therefore advised.
The Chairman of PIAC, Prof. Kwame Adom-Frimpong, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Accra, when he presented the committee’s semi-annual report on the management and use of petroleum revenues for January –June 2022.
The ABFA is the proportion of petroleum revenues allocated to the annual budget of the government to support development financing in the country.
A 2019 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Kpodo vs The Attorney-General obligates the Ministry of Finance to transfer five per cent of the ABFA of oil revenue into the DACF for projects.
According to the latest PIAC report, out of the $731.94 million in petroleum receipts which the country made in the first half of this year the ABFA received $183.02 million.
During the period under review, the report said PIAC inspected 17 ABFA-funded projects in four regions; six in Central, five in Eastern, three in North East, and other three in Western North.
The projects including classrooms, bridges, clinic, roads, durbar ground, market, boreholes, warehouse, administration blocks, and staff bungalows, were at various stages of completion.
“Sixteen out of these projects had received an average ABFA funding of 56 per cent relative to the original contract sum. Out of the projects inspected, eight were completed at the time of the visit”, the report said.
The PIAC document recalled that in the 2021 PIAC Annual Report, the committee reported that the total ABFA transferred to the DACF for the entire year was GH¢32.38 million, and subsequent to the publication of the report, an additional amount of GH¢85.95 million was released to DACF.
However, it said GH¢32.38 million was received by DACF within the reporting period, adding that the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department was in the process of transferring the additional funds to DACF.
Still on the ABFA, the PIAC report revealed that there was unutilised ABFA of GH?201,996,032.27 as of the end of 2021, representing 9.80 per cent of 2021 utilisation.
“This figure was not brought forward in H1 2022. According to the MoF, details of this amount will be forwarded to PIAC by the end of the year”, the report stated.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR
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