Effective Parliamentary Oversight: Mission Impossible?
"Ghana's recent discovery of oil and the anticipated petroleum revenue flows has raised expectations about the future economic development of the country. Yet Ghana's poor record in the area of public financial management, as demonstrated by many of the Auditor-General's reports, raises serious doubts about the ability of government revenues to be used effectively. One of the key problems is the limited capacity of Parliament and, in particular, its Public Accounts Committee (PAC), to effectively prosecute its oversight role. This is demonstrated by examples of Parliament failing to insist on budget estimates when approving spending and in the PAC's frustrated, albeit laudable, attempts to encourage effective financial management at the district level. This paper makes three recommendations to improve the oversight of public finances in Ghana."