In an effort to fight crime and corruption in Ghana, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ, together with other ten accountability institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with on Wednesday March 11, 2020 in Accra.
The key accountable institutions includes; the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Parliament of Ghana and the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice.
The rest were, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, the Ghana Audit Service, Ghana Police Service and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
Other institutions were, the Narcotics Control Board, the Internal Audit Agency, the Bureau of National Investigation and the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
The move was aimed at exchanging information, foster better understanding and cooperation among the key accountable institutions, promote synergy and better co-ordination of activities.
It also seeks to enhance capacity of key accountable institutions to address challenges of emerging methods of corruption and crime and also to minimize the potential for mandate overlaps.
At a short ceremony in Accra, the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, stated that Ghanaians expect a lot from accountability institutions in the fight against corruption and crime adding that the institutions mandated under the law are expected to put their synergies to work.
According to him, the MOU should not be put down togather dust but rather actualized and the institutions involved have no excuse to fail Ghanaians.
Mr. Whittal further noted that with all the eleven key accountability institutions under one roof was a duty worth honouring and within a month the MOU would come to force.
The Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Richard Ackom Quayson, noted that corruption is a very serious problem in the country which has devastating effects on the development of the country and a threat to national security.
He indicated that corruption allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish and undermines the capacity of the state and its institutions to function efficiently.
According to Mr. Quayson, in order to address corruption, various measures have been adopted over the years to combat corruption in the country.
These measures include, the adoption of legislative and other measures, which have helped to streamline the systems of managing and accounting for the effective and efficient use of Ghana’s limited resources and for improved public service delivery.
He further stated that Ghana continues to encounter significant challenges in addressing corruption in particular and fighting crime in general.
Mr. Quayson said among these challenges is the lack of coordination and collaboration between and among key accountable institutions in the country that has to a large extent weakened the potential for institutionalizing a culture of transparency and accountability in public life.
The Executive Director of Economic and Organized Crime Office, EOCO, Commissioner of Police, Frank Adu-Poku Rtd, stated that the fight against corruption in the country is a major concern to all and he is committed to ensure that the MOU would lead to effective action.
He said EOCO will support the initiative to help fight against corruption and crime in the country.
The Member of Parliament for Offinso South, Ben Abdallah Banda, said Parliament of Ghana is one of the key institutions and is committed to ensure the agenda of the MOU is realised.
He noted that the collaborative agenda being spear headed by CHRAJ was a laudable idea adding that; this will go a long way to fight and also minimize corruption and crime in the country.
An information exchange forum shall be established which shall meet at least once every quarter and undertake specific activities including sharing information and experiences; organizing periodic engagements for the public; developing mechanisms for case referrals, taking into account mandates, resources and capabilities; conducting joint activities and investigations as appropriate, developing a strategy for collaboration with civil society and private sector organizations.
The signing of the MOU was made possible with the support from the European Union and Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme, ARAP.
By: Paul Mamattah