Contingency Fund now stands at GH¢200 million – Ofori-Atta

The Contingency Fund, into which money voted by Parliament shall be paid and utilised, currently has a credit balance of about GH¢200 million, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, has said..

The amount is out of the total amount of GH¢1.33 billion that Parliament voted between 2017 and 2022 for the Fund.

That, he said, included GH¢1,203,715,086, GH¢50,000,000, and GH¢76,489,307 voted in 2020, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

“Of the total GH¢1,330,204,393 voted for the Contingency Fund, GH¢1,203,715,086 was paid from the Stabilisation Fund to meet COVID-19 related expenditures in 2020.

The amount represented the cedi equivalent of the $200 million in excess of the $100 million cap established for the Stabilisation Fund,” he said.

Replenishing fund
In a statement read on his behalf on the floor of Parliament yesterday, Mr Ofori Atta said the government advanced and utilised an amount of GH¢1,201,911,778 from the Contingency Fund between 2020 and 2021 to meet COVID-19 related expenditures.

He gave the breakdown as 2020 (GH¢1,200,696,496) and 2021 (GH¢1,669,387).

“As of December 31, 2021, the balance in the Contingency Fund account was GH¢660,117,959.

The Ministry of Finance, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Bank of Ghana are working together to replenish the account over the medium term as indicated to this House in April 2020,” he said.

Mr Ofori Atta’s statement was read by the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Amin Adams, in response to a question by the National Democratic Congress(NDC) MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi.

The MP had asked how much had been voted by Parliament and paid into the Contingency Fund, how much advances had been made from the fund since 2017 to date and how the advances made from the Fund had been utilised.

Commitment to transparency
The finance minister said the government had demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability in the use of public funds by proactively complying with legal provisions governing the public finances.

“With respect to accountability for funds from the Contingency Fund to primarily meet COVID-related operations, we have demonstrated unparalleled transparency,” he said.

He said the Auditor-General, in accordance with article 187 of the Constitution and upon “my request in July 2022”, had conducted a comprehensive audit of all COVID-19 expenditures and sources of funds, including the Contingency Fund, covering the period March 2020 to June 2022.

The report, the minister said, had subsequently been submitted to Parliament in a transmittal letter dated December 30, 2022 and subsequently referred to the Public Accounts Committee.

Greater accountability
Under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Ofori Atta said, Ghanaians were enjoying greater accountability and transparency in the management of the public purse than any other period under the Fourth Republic.

“Since 2017, the government has complied with the reporting provisions in the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921), including Budget Implementation reports, Fiscal Reports, Annual Public Debt Reports and Petroleum Revenue Management Reports.

“Mr Speaker, we are building a responsive culture of transparency and accountability in public financial management,” Mr Ofori Atta said.

Source: graphic online

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