Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice has presented a white paper on the report of the Commission of Inquiry into payments from public funds arising from judgment debts.
She said the Commission was appointed to inquire into payments made from public funds for and on behalf of the state arising from judgment debts, arbitration awards, negotiated settlements and related processes.
At a press conference in Accra, she said government after receiving the Commission’s report on May 20, 2015 had studied it thoroughly and issued the white paper in accordance with Article 280 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Mrs Appiah-Oppong said the white paper followed the order in which the Commission presented its reports based on selected cases on judgment debts arising out of alleged contractual breaches (1992-2012); and selected cases on judgment debts arising out of compulsory land acquisition by the state (compensation payments 1992- 2012).
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the Commission made general findings and observations on the factors that have accounted for or contributed to judgment debts against the state.
She said the Commission was composed of a sole commissioner, Justice Yaw Appau, now a Justice of the Supreme Court, with the terms of reference to ascertain the causes of any inordinate payments made from public funds in satisfaction of judgment debts, since the 1992 Constitution came in force.
“To ascertain the cause of any inordinate payments made from public funds and financial losses arising from arbitration awards, negotiated settlements and akin processes since the 1992 Constitution came in force,” she said were the terms of reference.
Other terms of references for the Commission was to make recommendations to the government for ensuring that instances where public funds are utilized to make payments in satisfaction of judgment debts and public debts arising from akin processes are limited or avoided and for government not to incur undue financial losses when it does businesses with private persons or institutions.
Mrs Appiah-Oppong, commended the Commission for the work done on behalf of the people of Ghana and expressed appreciation to the sole commissioner and his team for the report.
She urged all interested individuals and groups to thoroughly study the report and the white paper in order to ensure an informed discussion.
Download Government white paper on judgement debt commission report here