GACC underscores pragmatic measures for compliance of asset declaration regime

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

It explained that for a more effective and efficient asset regime, 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 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 are the major reasons for the non-compliance with the Act,” the Coalition noted.

Samuel Harrison-Cudjoe, Consultant with GACC, observed that the Conduct of Public Officers Bill introduced in 2018 did not sufficiently address key issues concerning asset declaration but clause 44 left out the Office of the Special Prosecutor whose mandate included the prosecution of corruption-related offences.

He explained that the bill when passed into law, would determine the grounds for disqualification from holding public office, declaration of assets, what constituted improper enrichment, solicitation, the forfeiture, disposal of prohibited gifts and the citizenry had the right to lawfully approach the 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 can be watchdogs, ensure that public officers did the needful because our voices can be heard and we call for the 2018 bill to be passed into law because it seeks to provide regulation for the behaviour of public officers with specifics on what they have legal rights to do, though there are parts that needs modification.

“Appointees are not national in character because politicians have an upper hand in their job, influencing decisions, indirectly controlling affairs, it is time for systems to be structured to allow Ghanaians to vote freely to elect who they will want their leaders to be and the coalition has no stance in recent call for constitutional review yet it believes governance must meet their dire needs,” Mr Harrison-Cudjoe alluded.

He indicated that corruption was a national canker that affected all Ghanaians which gave advantages to culprits, though temporary, all had crucial role to play in curtailing corruption for the national good.

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