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Ghana's corruption report to be released
NEWS | GACC News

Ghana’s effort in combating corruption in various sectors of the economy since joining the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has been put to test by anti corruption experts through a peer review system.

A report from selected UNCAC officials from Rwanda and Swaziland will soon determine the performance of Ghana in the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance.

 

The review of UNCAC, which is regarded as the first globally legally binding International Anti-Corruption instrument is expected to present opportunities to ensure that Ghana’s National Anti -Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and other anti-corruption efforts are in line with global best practice.

 

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) came into force in 2005 providing a comprehensive and unique opportunity for countries to form collective action in the fight against corruption. In November 2008, the Conference of State Parties to the Convention (CoSP) was established for the Review of the Implementation of UNCAC (UNCAC Review Mechanism). As part of the Review Mechanism, state parties are required to go through a comprehensive review process on the implementation of the UNCAC through a Self Assessment Checklist. The Report of the Review process is submitted to UNODC and each State Party is reviewed by other two States parties. The process of the review will be implemented in two five-year cycles. Implementation of the Mechanism should be broad-based and involve all key stakeholders such as public, private, civil society and development partners.

 

Mr Bernard Henebeng , an official of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,(UNODC) an institution that manages the implementation of the UNCAC and assists states in designing anti corruption measures for UNCAC notes that as part of the review process, assessment check lists were made available to institutions like the Judicial Service, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Ministry of Justice & Interior, Foreign Affairs among others to respond.

 

These include cases presented and prosecuted on corruption and the number of imprisonment recorded as a result.“The report will be made available to the government of Ghana and government will then decide whether to make it available to the public or not.

 

According to the United Nations Secretary General, Bank Kin Moon, “the cost of corruption is measured not just in the billions of dollars of squandered or stolen Government resources, but most poignantly in the absence of the hospitals, schools, clean water, roads and bridges that might have been built with that money and would have certainly changed the fortunes of families and communities..”.

 

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Mrs Florence Dennis, believes that the review process shows how local and national anti-corruption strategies are aligned to global strategies for effective implementation and monitoring.

 

According to her, it is expected that, through the review process, the public will get a clear linkage about all issues related to corruption and how the government deals with them.“The outcome of the review will determine the direction we will have to take as a country. The review process is good because it gives an assessment of what is being done. It will help determine whether the current national action plandeveloped meets global standard,” she said.

 

She added that the review presented an opportunity for cooperation between anti-corruption agencies in the country, while identifying weaknesses, and challenges as stakeholders begin to formally play their roles in the implementation of NACAP.

 

Similarly, a Governance specialist and head of UNDP Governance Cluster in Ghana, Ms.Jane Owiredu Yeboah notes that UNDP is supporting government to achieve its development objectives in the fight against corruption.According to her UNDP is currently running a five year programme cycle between 20I2 and 20I6 to support government and other development efforts. “We support elections, democracy, inclusion and participation of women and youth in the country’s democratic process , the justice system and the national peace process

 

To ensure CSOs and general public’s participation in the process, GACC with financial support from the UNDP has engaged about 100 CSOs in the country for the past two month to educate them on the review process and solicit their inputs. To further create more awareness, GACC is organizing media engagements for the public to educate them on the UNCAC review process and its relevance in the implementation of Ghana’s National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) and provides detail update of what the Steering Committee is doing on the UNCAC review.

 

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition has played an active role in forming collective action against corruption in Ghana since 2001. The Coalition in collaboration with other partners advocated for the government to sign on to the UNCAC in 2004.

 

In collaboration with the Commission on Human Rights & Administrative Justice, GACC in October 2012 held a stakeholders form to initiate discussion on the UNCAC Review process in Ghana. These engagements paved the way for the country to set up processes for the review process with work beginning in November 2012 to date.

 

According to Charles Ayamdoo, Director of Anti-Corruption at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and UNCAC Focal Point representative in Ghana, the review encourages countries to establish series of specific criminal offences to cover a wide range of acts of corruption if they are not already crimes under domestic law.

 

The UNCAC assessment process is to stimulate broader national involvement in anti-corruption efforts, encourage inter-institutional dialogue and cooperation, and provide policy makers with detailed information and analysis on its anti-corruption efforts. It serves as a benchmark for successive governments and stakeholders to measure progress overtime, share knowledge and expertise with other countries implementing UNCAC. The assessment is also to fulfill international reporting obligations under the UNCAC Review Mechanism. A number of state parties have also utilized the opportunity of the Review process to draw a National Anti-Corruption Strategy.

 

The review process seeks to promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption. It is being undertaken to promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption (including asset recovery); promote integrity, accountability, and proper management of public affairs and property.

 

Pursuant to the resolution and a series of others which followed, the United Nations Convention against Corruption was adopted in October 2003 and opened for signature at a high-level Political Signing Conference in Merida, Mexico in December 2003.

 

Subsequently, 140 countries signed on and as of September 2013, there are 168 Parties, including the European Union. Ghana deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on June 24, 2007.

 

About the writers: Beauty Emefa Narteh is a Communications Officer of GACC & Nana Koranteng is a member of the Journalist Against Corruption (JAC) Network formed by GACC

Source: Beauty Emefa Narteh

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