Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said government is committed to uniting state and non-state actors through the use of digital technologies to win the fight against corruption in the country.
He said government would continue investing in the fight against corruption, take preventive measures, criminalise and enforce laws against corruption as well as recover proceeds of corruption.
“This government prides itself on its strong anti-corruption stance and will partner with both state and non-state organisations to fight corruption and build the nation on a strong foundation of ethics and integrity,” the Vice President said.
He said by next year, the Conduct of Public Officers Bill would be passed into law and this calls for the re-orientation of the mindset of the youth, in order to build a free and just society that could compete competitively on the global stage.
Vice President Bawumia gave the assurance at the closing ceremony of the National Anti-Corruption and Transparency Week and commemoration of this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, in Accra.
The week-long event brought together representatives of anti-corruption institutions, the Judiciary, Parliament, government officials and the diplomatic community, to review the state of corruption report, progress made on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and chart the way forward.
The event was held under the theme: “NACAP: Mobilising National Efforts and Resources to Combat Corruption, Five Years on”.
It was organised by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Attorney-General’s Office, Judicial Service, Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
Vice President Bawumia outlined some programmes and interventions being implemented by government to make corruption unattractive to Ghanaians, including the use of disruptive digital technologies in public sector institutions.
Others, said, include the Smart Driver’s Licence and Digital Vehicle Registration, National Identification System, Digital Property Addressing System, Paperless Ports System, e-Justice system, Mobile Money Interoperability System and Digital Land Registry.
The Vice President said the aforementioned programmes would enhance transparency and improve the efficiency of many government agencies in terms of service delivery and ultimately help to prevent and eliminate corruption.
More so, he said, government has increased budgetary allocations to all the accountability institutions of state, including CHRAJ, Parliament, the Judiciary, EOCO, the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, the Ghana Police Service and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, to enable them to wage the war against corruption.
For instance, Dr Bawumia said, the operational budget for CHRAJ has increased from GH¢1.8 million in 2016 to GH¢5 million in 2019, and GH¢12.2 million for the 2020 fiscal year, while its overall budget increased from GH¢16.8 million in 2016 to over GH¢40 million in 2020.
Mr Richard Quayson, the Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, who made a presentation on the “State of Corruption Report”, said the report was compiled by a total of 182 Implementing Partners (IPs); 117 of them reported that they have taken steps to establish safe reporting mechanisms at their workplaces; 68 IPs reported that they had received 187 complaints relating to corruption and various misconduct.
He said while Ghana has improved its position in the Corruption Perception Index from 40 to 41, there is the need to redouble national efforts to encourage shareholders to continue prioritising the implementation of NACAP activities until corruption is brought under control.
Mr Quayson said there is the need for state and non-state actors to intensify awareness creation on corruption, in order to engender the interest of the private sector and Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as all the various assemblies on anti-corruption issues and enforce existing laws and policies.