CHRAJ processes 59 cases in 2016
Mr Charles Ayamdoo, the Director, Anti-Corruption of CHRAJ said of the total number of Cases processed by the Commission in 2016, the statistical distribution include misappropriation 21, conflict of interest two, bribery three, extortion 10, and abuse of office seven.
He said over the period, the Headquarters received 20 self-initiated cases and 12 complaints, whereas those through the whistle blowers were six.
Mr Ayamdoo made these revelations known in Accra during a Multi-stakeholder Forum on Strengthening Responsiveness to Corruption Related Grievances.
The Forum, which was organised by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Local Chapter of Transparency International brought together accountability institutions, as well as civil society organisations to ensure stronger cooperation leading to efficiency and timely coordinated response to corruption complaints.
Mr Ayamdoo noted that the CHRAJ was doing well in the fight against corruption; stating that a Governance and Peace Poll in Ghana conducted by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development in 2014 indicated that “Trust for the CHRAJ in five out of the 10 regions was higher than the national average of 60 per cent.
Speaking on “Corruption Prevention in Ghana: Available Legislation”, Mr Ayamdoo said corruption was bad and could only be eradicated through the three-prong approach – prevention, education and enforcement.
He explained that the law enforcement aspects involved investigation, prosecution, sanctions and recovery of proceeds of corruption.
He said corruption was not a rare phenomenon but its definitions varied, citing the abuse of entrusted office for private gain.
He said corruption was a crime provided for in the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and a host of other legislations numbering over 26.
Mr Ayamdoo said: “It takes many forms with different types of participants, settings, stakes and techniques. We cannot rely on one single institution to fight corruption effectively.”
He said it had been globally agreed on to take measures to prevent corruption, criminalize acts of corruption, undertake public education and cooperate with other nations.
Mr Ayamdoo said the vulnerable areas to focus on in the fight against corruption were revenue generation and collection, public procurement, permits and licensing (mining and drivers) and public goods (health, water, power, electricity, privatisation and divestiture).
On corruption prevention Mr Ayamdoo called for systems examination, enhancement and control.
He said enhanced integrity such as enforcing the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as well as corporate codes of conduct, enhanced efficiency, transparency and accountability were essential in corruption prevention.
He mentioned that Coordinated Anti-Corruption Policy that outlined how the measures would be implemented in a systematic and sustained manner was essential in combating corruption.
Mr Tuinese Amuzu, Senior Associate – African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, said the posture of investigative bodies could sometimes deter people from reporting on corruption to them.
He said records over the years had shown that prosecutions were usually directed at former government officials.
He said when corruption occurs, it must be reported and there must be meaningful investigations and subsequent prosecution.
Mr Benedict Doe, Senior Officer, GII, said corruption permeated the entire society and was the most talked about problem in the world.
He said one of the major challenges hampering anti-corruption efforts in Ghana was the fact that despite the almost daily reports of misuse of public funds, responses were not forthcoming and sanctions had not been stringent to serve as a deterrent.
He said Ghana had some strong anti-corruption laws, policies, rules and regulations, as well as a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).
“However, enforcement regimes are weak; thus creating a culture of tolerance for corruption among citizens,” he said.