CSOs calls on President to back the OSP with adequate funding 

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CSOs

On Tuesday, 26th October 2021, a group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on  anti-corruption and good governance issues met with the Special Prosecutor (SP), Mr. Kissi  Agyebeng, at the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) at Ridge, Accra. The meeting, called  at the invitation of the SP was to deliberate on how best the OSP can work with CSOs to  engender a public space where corruption is a high risk and low reward activity. 

At the meeting, the SP laid out his vision for the Office which included focusing on corruption  prevention activities targeted at addressing issues such as gift-giving, developing and  preparing integrity plans for public agencies, conducting corruption risk assessments for major  financial transactions, production of a manual to guide citizens on the operations of the Office  and the launch of a flagship tool to track the progress of institutions called the Corruption  League Table. The SP’s vision also focused strongly on asset recovery, use of plea  bargaining, and of course, prosecution, backed by good forensic work and investigations. 

The CSOs commended the SP for the Office’s effort to communicate and engage with citizens  through the media and online platforms and recommended that this activity be extended to  the regions to help educate Ghanaians on the work of the OSP. The CSOs also observed that  the OSP has moved into a new ten-story building at Ridge although it was currently occupying  one floor as the OSP is yet to retrofit the rest of the floors, recruit the necessary staff and set  up the Office fully. The CSOs commended government for providing the OSP with the  appropriate space to set up its operations. HSowever, there is still a lot to do for the OSP to  be fully operational to pursue all its functions. 

The CSOs therefore, call on the President to ensure the OSP has adequate funding for the  first crucial year of operations. We are dismayed to hear that of the GHS 1.2 billion that was  budgeted for capital and recurrent expenditure, only GHS 80 million was allocated for the 2022  financial year representing only 6.6% of what was requested. This is far below what was even  allocated by government in the 2018 financial year for the setting up of the Office, although  the money was never accessed. We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted  negatively on government resources and there are many essential competing needs.  Nonetheless, we urge government to do its best to ensure the OSP is finally able to get off the  ground so it can do its important integrity building and anti-corruption work, an agenda that  the President and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have identified as a key development priority  if Ghana is to transform and go beyond aid.  

Lastly, the CSOs call on the President to expedite action on the formation of the new OSP  board to allow the Office recruit its staff in accordance with the OSP Act 2017 (Act 959). 

Corruption remains a serious challenge in Ghana and all key investigative and prosecutorial  agencies are needed to effectively work to help the country achieve its objectives. We remain  resolute in our commitment to promote integrity in public life and we assure the OSP of our  unflinching support. 

God Bless Ghana!

Signed 

Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition  

Ghana Integrity Initiative  

Ghana Center for Democratic Development Africa Center for Energy Policy 

Citizens Movement Against Corruption Penplusbytes  

Star Ghana Foundation 

SEND Ghana 

Media Foundation for West Africa 

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative  Parliamentary Network Africa 

CSO Platform on SDGs, Ghana 

Africa Centre for International Law & Accountability Manasseh Azure 

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