Parliament approves GH¢45.40m budget for CHRAJ
Parliament has approved the sum of GH¢45.40 million for the implementation of the programmes and activities of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for the 2023 financial year.
CHRAJ was allocated GH¢60,852, 00 for its programmes and activities in 2022, however, the allocation was revised downwards during the mid-year budget review to GH¢52,551,84
As of November 2022, the Commission’s actual expenditure stood at GH¢42,519,968.51 leaving GH¢10, 031, 873.49 as an outstanding amount.
CHRAJ under the year of review, has recorded achievements in management and administration, promotion of human rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), anti-corruption and National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), and the promotion of administrative justice.
It also has operational activities such as working on the burnt section of CHRAJ head office at the old Parliament House, conducting corruption risk assessment, monitoring the state of human rights and implementation of SDG as well as continuing to coordinate and monitor the implementation of NACAP would be some of the 2023 pursuits of the Commission.
Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, Deputy Majority Leader moved the Motion on behalf of Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader for approval on the floor of Parliament.
The Motion was seconded by Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Vice-Chairman of the Special Budgets Committee of Parliament.
Madam Appiagyei observed that per the Committee’s report, under Section 10 of the CHRAJ Act, 1993 (Act 456), and Article 220 of the 1992 Constitution the Commission was required to establish offices in each region and district in the country, however, the Commission was not able to fulfill that Constitutional requirement due to financial constraints
“Mr Speaker, During the year under review, the Commission was able to establish 35 additional offices across the country with support from the various Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies bringing the total offices established in the regions and districts to 175.
“The Committee further noted that an effort to fulfill this constitutional imperative in 2023 has been hampered by inadequate resources allocation to the Commission for the 2023 financial year,” she said.
Madam Appiagyei noted that the Committee was of the view that the inability of the Commission to open offices in the districts made the services of the Commission accessible to people and did not augur well for the protection of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the citizens.
She asked the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to urge Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to make space available to the Commission for establishing district offices across the country by status.
The report also mentioned the existing gaps in the Assets Declaration Regime as a weakness that hindered the Commission’s work, especially when it made it difficult to sanction offenders.