The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference
GHANA'S NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Matrix has been developed against the background of a return to
constitutional rule, continuous progress in consolidating democratic
governance, growing official and civil society recognition of the
dangers of corruption, and the need to curb it.
developments include the formal expressions of commitment to uproot
indiscipline in our national life in the Presidential Sessional
Addresses and other speeches, as well as the creation of the Serious
Fraud office to deal with complex fraud, and reinventing government
under the National Institutional Renewal Program (NIRP).
was developed by representatives from state institutions and non-
governmental organisations in collaboration with the World Bank. It is
based on a number of assumptions. First, that corruption is endemic in
Ghanaian society and is a serious impediment to economic and social
development. Second, previous attempts at curbing this canker have
failed because they failed to identify and address the underlying
causes of the problem, the anti-corruption crusade was not
participatory and the emphasis was solely on law enforcement by the
use of draconian anti-corruption laws and stiff penalties.
identifies the problem areas in fighting corruption, the steps, if
any, that have already been taken to address these problems, and the
steps that need to be taken in the short, medium and long term. The
programme also assesses a time frame for implementation of the program
and the expected results.
Some of the greatest obstacles to curbing
corruption include the following: weak political will; mixed signals
from the Executive Branch; weak institutions, and inadequate adherence
to the rule of law; entrenched patronage; weak private sector; weak
civil society, and pervasive cynicism.
Weak Political Will/ Mixed
Signals from Executive Branch: The Matrix observes that executive
commitment to combat corruption was expressed in the last two
Presidential Sessional Addresses to the nation. However, the rhetoric
has yet to be translated into concrete action. The matrix also
recognises weak official commitment to combating corruption is partly
a function of low political efficacy and apathy on the part of
Weak Institutions/Weak culture of rule of law: The Matrix
also observes that government institutions need to be strengthened. In
this regard, the Ghana Team notes the existence of government managed
institutional and legal reform programs as well as an Annual
Governance Forum of the National Institutional Renewal Program. The
Team has identified the need to give the National Institutional
Renewal Program-which is aimed at reinventing Government an anti-
corruption focus, including the establishment of ethics desks or
whistle blower units in all public institutions for dealing with cases
of conflict of interest and bribery.
The matrix identifies poor
financial management as one of the problem areas. Government needs to
be more transparent in the use of resources including foreign loans,
grants, tax revenue etc. There is the need for stronger parliamentary
oversight of government expenditure through the Public Accounts
Committee. The Auditor General should be better equipped to enforce
sanctions for financial misbehaviour. The Government has developed a
Medium Term Expenditure Framework to address some of these problems,
but this has yet to make an impact.
On the whole, levels of
accountability and transparency remain very low in national and sub-
national administration. Thus, the planned programs focus on greater
access to information, which includes the passage of a Freedom of
Information Act and Whistleblowers Act, and the repeal of criminal
libel and sedition laws. Greater participation of the public in the
work of anti-corruption agencies and in national and local governance
processes is also advocated.
Weak civil society/pervasive
cynicism/entrenched patronage: The Ghana Team observes that NGOs, CSOs
and citizen pressure groups are in a fledgling state. There is
inadequate co-operation among them and their institutional management
capacity is weak. The Matrix, therefore, advocates the development of
the capacity of credible corruption fighting civic bodies. An umbrella
organisation to oversee the implementation of the national anti-
corruption program is desirable. It will also be useful to have a
central body such as CHRAJ to co-ordinate international, domestic and
civil society anti-corruption efforts. The civil society-based anti-
corruption groups need to have a vanguard body.
The present diagnostic
and participatory approach initiated by the World Bank is useful and
commendable. Indeed, in developing countries where corruption is
systemic, only a systemic approach to the problem would yield positive
results. The establishment of a broad-based coalition to curb the
problem is a fundamental necessity.
However, the success of this World
Bank initiative would depend on the Bank's willingness to give
technical and logistic support to oversight and Ombudsman institutions
in African countries, which are going to be in the forefront of
implementing the matrix. In addition, the World Bank must use its
influence to secure greater commitment from Governments to the
program, in countries where lack of political will has been identified
as a problem.
Intensive public awareness campaign to
begin in November, 1999 with the launching of the postal campaign in
December 1999 ahead of the National Integrity Workshop and a formal
launching of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in February 2000.
Perceptions of corruption in the delivery of key services-education,
health and land-have been conducted in October 1998 and August 1999 by
the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD).
More of such surveys
will be conducted for areas such as customs, immigration etc.
The OECD anti-bribery Convention will be highlighted
as part of the proposed awareness campaign. It will be also used to
generate interest in anti-corruption work among the private sector.
Building a broad national coalition for combating corruption:
already began in mid-May to late 1998 with the formation of an ad hoc
planning group for the national integrity workshop of October that
year. The ad hoc planning group comprised representatives from the
Executive Branch/Attorney Generals office, civil society under the
auspices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
(CHRAJ); the formation of a civil society based chapter of
Transparency International (TI) the GII in 1999 and the formation of
the nucleus of an anti-corruption Ghana Team comprising CHRAJ, Serious
Fraud Office (SFO), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), since 1999.
Generating effective demand for official action to combat corruption
in particular by initiating dialogue between national anti-corruption
coalition and the Executive Branch and Parliament in November 1999.
The ad-hoc planning group had met and presented the report of the
October 1998 national integrity workshop to the Vice President.
Actions to promote official transparency will include intensifying the
campaign for access to information/Freedom of Information Act as well
as the repeal of the Criminal Libel and Sedition laws. Actions
already taken on this include IEA round tables where the issue has
been extensively analysed and canvassed. The intensified campaign will
be conducted throughout the year 2000.
Pushing for better provisioning
and resource for CHRAJ and other official anti-corruption agencies;
power for CHRAJ to prosecute for corruption by the end of 2000.
Increased media freedoms and access to information
Responsibility for implementation of the programme
will be shared between CHRAJ, SFO, GII, IEA, CDD, National
Institutional Renewal Programs (NIRP), and religious bodies, National
Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the
Parliament of Ghana.
CHRAJ will lead the central coordinating coalition.
IEA will lead the round table discussions to highlight
legislative reform especially the passage of Freedom of Information
Act and Official Secrets Act.
CDD survey capacity should be strengthened
GII should be empowered in public awareness campaigns.
SFO should be directly involved in the legislative processes together
Ghana Journalists Association and National Media Commission
would co-ordinate actions to push for repeal of criminal libel and
sedition laws, promote media freedoms and access to information.
FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS AND SUPPORT
Logistics for CDD Service Delivery and Corruption perception Surveys (Budget to be provided later,
contact E Gyimah-Boadi)
Logistics for launching of Ghana Integrity
Initiative (GII), (Contact Yaw Asamoah)
Logistics for CHRAJ led coalition building (Emil Short for budget)
Logistics for IEA round table discussions (Contact George Appenteng and Alhaji Abdullai for
Logistics for intensive public awareness campaigns-TV, radio
and poster competition (Contact Yaw Asamoah for budget)
Logistics for key statutory and civil society bodies involved in the program (Budget
to be submitted as and when requested)
COUNTRY TEAM EFFORT AT BUILDING POLITICAL SUPPORT
There was conscious effort to compose an ad-hoc
national planning group for the national integrity workshop, which
covered all the main institutions of state and civil society. The
Minister of Interior and Vice President were keynote speakers at the
workshop and the Minister of Local Government played a key liaison
role between Government and CHRAJ in planning it. A formal endorsement
from the President is being actively pursued.
GII itself comprises HRAJ, Private Enterprises Founda-tion (PEF), religious bodies both
Christian and Muslim, the media, academics, and opinion leaders.
Governing Board includes Mr. Emil Short (head of CHRAJ), Dr SKB Asante
(former head of UN Center for Transnational Corporations), Bishop
Palmer Buckle, (Catholic Bishop of Koforidua), Dr. Angela Ofori Atta
(Ghana Medical School), Audrey Gadzekpo (School of Communication
Studies, Legon), Prof. Araba Apt (Center for Social Policy Studies),
Prof. Eyimah-Boadi( Center for Democracy and Development), Yaw Asamoah
(Legal Practitioner), Mauvi Wahab (Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim
The Ghana team will consult with the donor community under
the auspices of the World Bank.
GHANA'S NATIONAL INTEGRITY STRATEGY