GII decries zero asset declaration, unexplained wealth


GII decries zero asset declaration, unexplained wealth

Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has raised concerns over legal gaps in the process necessary for prosecuting selected corruption cases outside the country’s legal framework.

The organisation explained that anti-corruption frameworks – including those that address unexplained wealth, influence peddling among others, require a strong-willed justice system to support them.

Transparency International and the GII attributed Ghana’s stagnation in its fight against corruption to the deteriorating justice system – which they say is reducing the accountability of public officials and allowing corruption to thrive.

GII’s Executive Director, Mary Awelena Addah – during a roundtable discussion on the country’s performance in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2023 in Accra, recommended the Executive arm of government urgently take steps to lay the ‘Conduct of Public Officers’ bill in parliament.

The bill, according to the GII, will ensure provisions on assets declaration with severe sanctions for non-compliance.

“The GII calls on the legislature to attach an equal level of urgency to its timely passage,” Mrs. Addah noted.

Among others, the organisation also recommended that government give the justice system all resources and transparency needed to effectively punish every corruption offence and provide checks and balances on power.

Ghana’s performance on the CPI

The country has scored zero for the fourth consecutive year in fighting corruption, according to the CPI 2023 data released by Transparency International (TI).

GII, local chapter of Transparency International, in its report said: “Ghana scored 43 out of a clean score of 100, and ranked 70th out of 180 countries and territories included in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023 released on January 30, 2024 by Transparency International”.

This marks the fourth consecutive year of stagnation in Ghana’s anti-corruption efforts, as indicated by the CPI.

Ghana’s stagnated score highlights a global trend of deteriorating justice systems, which is reducing the accountability of public officials and therefore allowing corruption to thrive.

The connection is reinforced by Ghana’s performance in the Rule of Law Index produced by the World Justice Project, which demonstrates a concerning decline.

In the 2015 Rule of Law Index, Ghana scored 0.60 and ranked 34, but by 2023 the country’s score had decreased to 0.55 – with a corresponding drop in ranking to 61.

With the current performance, GII has said corruption remains an existential threat affecting the promotion of equity and social justice in society.

GII however admitted that various governments have over the years developed and implemented measures aimed at promoting a culture of transparency and accountability.

These measures include the development and implementation of various anti-corruption frameworks and initiatives: such as the Rights to Information Act, Public Procurement Act, Whistleblowers Act and Office of the Special Prosecutor, among others.

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