CHRAJ to boost ombudsman mandate to fight corruption

corruptionThe Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Monday said it was injecting dynamism into its ombudsman mandate, to tighten the fight against corruption in the country.

“We are going to be robust and pro-active on our mandate to investigate complaints concerning injustice and unfair treatment of any person by a public officer and to investigate complaints concerning the functioning of the Public Services Commission, the administrative organs of the State, the Armed Forces, the Police Service, the Prison Service and other state institutions,” Mr Joseph Akanjoluer Whittal, CHRAJ Deputy Commissioner, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

He said the Commission has initiated the necessary strategy to holistically deal with corruption and “the traditional role of the Ombudsman as a watch dog body that supervises public bodies which was momentarily lost to the public has been transformed”.

Mr Whittal said CHRAJ was ready with renewed vigour to protect and promote administrative justice to ensure that the government and its officers are accountable and transparent.

The CHRAJ Deputy Commissioner urged institutions or persons to submit information, documents, records or other materials that would assist in the Commission’s investigations.

He said CHRAJ has been given the constitutional mandate to ensure that public officials avoid arbitrariness or bias in their actions.

Mr Whittal called on the public to report any case or cases of maladministration, abuse of power, unfair treatment by public officials, discrimination, delays, and omissions or failures by public institutions or officials to CHRAJ.

He asked Ghanaians to complain about the administrative actions and decisions of public institutions and public officials regarding bias, victimization, vindictiveness, arbitrariness, rudeness, mistreatment, or perverse; and disrespect of their rights and dignity.

Mr Whittal also called on the people to act on “refusal to answer reasonable questions, knowingly giving misleading information, discrimination on the grounds of gender, colour, tribe, or other prohibited grounds or making it difficult for you to access or use services or facilities to which you are entitled.

He asked them to show concern about “faulty procedures influenced by improper conduct, poor service delivery or failed service without giving good reason, reckless disregard for applicable guidelines which results in inequitable treatment of service users”.

He reminded the public that the Commission’s mandate does not include power to investigate: a matter pending before a court of law, and a case involving the Government of Ghana and another Government or International Organization.

Mr Whittal said also said issue concerning the President’s prerogative of mercy to grant pardon to a convict, “Cannot be investigated by CHRAJ”.

Source: GNA

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