January 26, 2011

The majority in parliament today backed down on moves against establishment of a Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) paving the way for its establishment.

The committee will ensure transparency in the management of petroleum revenue.

The law makers returned to the Petroleum Revenue Management bill today after they failed to pass it before going on recess.

Earlier, the majority spoke against establishing the PIAC because they believe its function could be performed by other state institutions

However after consultation with the minority, the house unanimously approved clause 53 allowing for the establishment of the committee.

The majority leader Cletus Avoka said the committee can stay to serve the public interest but added the House will look at the functions and the composition of the committee.

But, some MPs pushed for limitation on the powers of the committee.

Chairman of the Energy committee Moses Asaga wants its powers to be limited to only petroleum revenues.

But ranking member on the finance committee Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei disagrees.

He said to prevent the current problems at TOR it is important not to limit the powers of the committee, adding it will serve a good purpose of accountability if the powers of the committee are allowed to remain intact.

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana Rev Fred Deegbe was happy with the establishment of the committee.

He told Joy News people have high and sometimes unrealistic expectations on the oil find and argued any hint of corruption could be suicidal.

He was hopeful the committee will ensure accountability and transparency in the operations of the petroleum revenue management.