GACC in the News

Richard Ackom Quayson: Celebrating a man of professionalism, ethics, integrity

The governance, transparency and accountability fraternity has lost a colossus in the late Mr Richard Ackom Quayson, who was a Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) until his death on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the age of 64.

“Mr Quayson was known for his commitment to duty, high sense of professionalism, ethics, and integrity which made him successful while in office,” CHRAJ eulogised him in a statement issued on March 27, 2024 to announce his death.

Mr. Quayson joined CHRAJ as Senior Legal Officer in 1993, having worked as Legal Officer of the predecessor institution, the Office of the Ombudsman, from 1987 to 1993. He was called to the Ghana Bar in 1987.

He served as the Regional Director for Western and Central regions, Acting Commissioner (November 2015 till December 2016), and Deputy Commissioner with oversight for Anti-Corruption, Public Education, and Research till his death.

Contributions to anti-corruption legislative reform, institutional coordination and collaboration.

Mr. Quayson was instrumental in bringing several policy, legislative, and systemic reforms to facilitate the anti-corruption agenda. The following is an enumeration of few initiatives that can be credited to his hard work.

Development, implementation of NACAP

Mr Quayson spearheaded the development of Ghana’s National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) as Chairman of the National Working Group.

The NACAP was commissioned by the government of Ghana in 2009, finalised in 2011, presented to Parliament for adoption in 2013, and was adopted by Parliament in 2014. The tenure of the NACAP was from 2015 to 2024.

In the architecture for the implementation of the NACAP, Mr Quayson was the Vice Chairman of the High-Level Implementation Committee (HiLIC) and Chair of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MONICOM). Before his death, he had been working with other stakeholders to develop a NACAP II, which would take effect from 2025.

Emmanuel Adumua-Bossman, Deputy Chief of Staff recalls Mr. Quayson’s words when he assumed the HiLIC Chair role, as signalling “the expectation of a very decent man with the anti-corruption fight deeply embedded within his calm persona.”

CHRAJ Commissioner Whittal commented that “Now, NACAP had its own spill overs and all those spill overs in the fight against corruption are also attributable to him. You can’t take that away from Mr. Quayson,”. The “spill overs” include the introduction of a Public Service Integrity Programme, which seeks to promote integrity in the public service. This in turn resulted in the development of CHRAJ guidelines on conflict of interest and the conduct of public officers.

Review, Ghana’s Implementation of UNCAC

Mr. Quayson is further recognised for his role in the successful review of Ghana’s Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) due to his role as Chair of the National Working Group.

Mrs. Florence Dennis, former Executive Secretary of GACC recalls that during the UNCAC review process in Ghana, “Mr Quayson was so much on board and that led to Ghana being assessed successfully.”

Promulgation of OSP Act

Mr. Quayson was also instrumental in the promulgation of Act 2017, (Act 959) which established the Office of the Special Prosecutor as the flagship specialised anti-corruption institution in Ghana. Nana Osei Bonsu, Board Chairman of GACC, recalls a conversation with Mr. Quayson about the relevance or otherwise of the OSP.

“I found it superfluous. I thought that the Attorney-General’s Office had enough tools to fight corruption if we were serious about fighting corruption. But he convinced me that emphasis was being put on fighting corruption with the establishment of the Office.”

Key Accountability institutions

As part of the activities of NACAP, CHRAJ initiated the idea that key accountability institutions should enter into a multi-institutional MOU on building relationships to foster greater collaboration and coordination. Until his death, Mr. Quayson led this process of getting CHRAJ, OSP, Parliament, Attorney-General, Ghana Audit Service, Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), and the Office of Economic and Organised Crimes (EOCO) to work together.

Vice Chair of GACC Board

Mr Quayson served as the Vice Chair of the GACC Board from 2011 until his demise. He was instrumental in the development of the current strategic plan, and the yet to be adopted amended constitution of GACC.

Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, the Executive Secretary of GACC, described Mr. Quayson as “…a man with unwavering dedication to upholding integrity, and steadfast in his pursuit of a more just and equitable society.”

The mood of the entire governance and anti-corruption fraternity can be summarised in these words of GACC Board Chairman Nana Osei Bonsu: “We’ve lost a great soul and a mighty stalwart in the fight against corruption.”
Adios, man of professionalism!

 

Source: https://www.graphic.com.gh/features/opinion/richard-ackom-quayson-celebrating-a-man-of-professionalism-ethics-integrity.html

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