GACC suggests strong measures for asset declaration regime

Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) had underscored the need for the Government to input pragmatic measures to ensure the compliance of the asset declaration law in Ghana.

For a more effective asset regime, it said there was the need to apply stiffer sanctions to significantly, serve as deterrent to officials who under-declare or do not declare their assets and liabilities.

The coalition explained that the lack of explicit punishments coupled with other factors in the country’s current asset declaration regime as captured in Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution were the major reasons for the non-compliance with the Act.

Mr. Samuel Harrison-Cudjoe, Consultant with GACC in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, said the Conduct of Public Officers bill introduced in 2018 did not sufficiently address key issues concerning asset declaration.

He said clause 44 left out the Office of the Special Prosecutor whose mandate included the prosecution of corruption-related offences.

The Consultant said the bill when passed into law, would determine the grounds for disqualification from holding public office, declaration of assets, what constituted improper enrichment, solicitation and the forfeiture and disposal of prohibited gifts.

He said citizens had the right to lawfully approach Government so that leaders could be held to account.
“The asset declaration regime could have helped reduced corruption , but nobody is ensuring its enforcement, we as citizens could be watchdogs, ensure that public officers do the needful because our voices could be heard” he indicated.

“He called for the 2018 bill to be passed into law because it seeks to provide regulation for the behavior of public officers with specifics on what they had legal rights to do, though there are parts that needs modification”, he noted .

Speaking on Government appointments, Mr. Cudjoe said appointees were not national in character because politicians had an upper hand in their job, influencing decisions and indirectly controlling affairs.

He said the time had come for systems to be structured to allow the Ghanaian Populace to vote freely to elect who they would want their leaders to be.

He said GACC had no stance in the recent call for constitutional review yet it believed that governance must meet the dire needs of the people.

Finally, he said he said corruption was a national canker that affected all and gave advantages to culprits, though temporary, “each of us has a crucial role to play in curtailing corruption for the national good.”

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