THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT IS IN PLACE AND IS EXPECTED TO SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION BY MAKING CREDIBLE, TIMELY, AND VALID INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC IN 2020.
Mr. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, the Senior Minister has called on all stakeholders to be bold and condemn all forms of corrupt activities, irrespective of political affiliation for sustained national development.
“Corruption is a crime and should not be protected by a political party. People commit crime and run to hide behind political power, we must name and shame perpetrators to make the acts unattractive because criminality has no political colour”, he added.
The Senior Minister said this on Wednesday in Accra at the launch of a five-year strategic plan (2020-2024) developed by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) with support from civil societies and development partners.
HE SAID THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO CHART A NEW PATH TO ENSURE THAT PUBLIC OFFICIALS DO NOT ONLY DECLARE THEIR ASSETS BUT ALSO THOSE PROPERTIES SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IN THE MEDIA TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY AND TO FIGHT THE CANKER OF CORRUPTION.
The plan encompasses a concerted approach in fighting corruption, such as embarking on anti-corruption public education, enforcement of anti-corruption laws and reducing the opportunities for corruption.
Mr Osafo-Marfo said government remained resolute at partnering with stakeholders to build the needed consensus aimed at addressing corruption issues, stressing that, the Office of the President had formalized periodic engagement with the GACC to discuss pertinent matters of governance.
He said President Akufo-Addo had accented into law, a number of legal instruments, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor to fight corruption, and expose wrongdoing in public institutions.
The Right to Information Act is in place and is expected to support the fight against corruption by making credible, timely, and valid information available to the public, when the implementation takes effect in 2020.
“Corruption undermines policy formation, service delivery and public trust in the political system and the government as a whole. It behooves on us to work assiduously to curb the menace to reduce the heavy expenditure on the country’s budget.”
He said the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan was critical in offering Ghanaians an opportunity to address corruption cases. The Senior Minister posited that, fighting corruption would require building, and sustaining partnerships among the organs of government, the private sectors and civil society organisations.
According to Mr Osafo-Marfo, government’s Ghana Beyond Aid Charter and Strategy document would propel the country into a prosperous and self-confident economy that would engage competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment.
He explained that one of the 10-point reform agenda in the Charter focused on greater efficiency in the use of all public resources, anti-corruption and a more professional and transparent approach to public investments, and the need to clamp down on leakages in public expenditure.
He urged the Coalition to adopt the principles of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda as a vital instrument towards achieving a corruption-free country.
Mr Walter Amenu, the Deputy Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) said the new plan envisioned a corruption-free Ghana where the Coalition would jointly fight corruption and promote integrity through sustained and effective coordination of anti-corruption activities.
He said EOCO had transcended its traditional role of law enforcement and embarked on preventive advocacy to complement the work of other partners in the fight against organized crime in the country.