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Ghana’s asset and liability declaration regime facilitating corruption – Mary Addah

The Programmes Manager at the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mary Addah, says Ghana’s assets and liabilities declaration regime is a facilitator to some of the corruption being experienced in the country.

According to her, the current assets and liabilities declaration regime is weak and unable to ensure that public officers are held accountable for their corrupt practices.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, she said Ghana has not been complying with international best practice on assets and liabilities declaration.

“The Asian community has one of the best practice examples of asset declaration regimes that exist.

And recently we did an analysis of same and we realized that our law which we have been advocating for a change forever is one of the weakest we have because you just declare your asset and until such a time that there is an issue where a competent authority which is CHRAJ as provided by the constitution then goes in to assess and do an analysis.

“So our regime is weak, our regime is a facilitator of some of these infractions that we clearly see and if it’s true what I have heard and read; I hear the gentleman did not even declare his assets in the first place per initial checks.

If this is true, it is a big infraction.

“How come the appointing authority did not ensure that somebody they have appointed declared their asset?

Today if what we’re hearing is true that is a big infraction and there are sanctions that come with non-compliance as spelt out in the constitution and also the Act,” she said.

She stated that asset and liability declaration should not end right after the assets and liability of said public officer has been declared.

According to her, the declared assets and liabilities need to be verified, published and constantly updated as and when the public officer gains or loses and asset or liability.

“We have other places, and I talk about best practice where assets and liabilities that are declared are verified and to push it, published as well.

Then the final stage is the monitoring of the asset and the liabilities because people pick up or reduce their assets as they go on in life.

“And so if you have taken office today as a public officer at a certain salary you should declare your assets and then during your tenure, whenever you acquire a new asset or a new liability you quickly amend what you have presented to the Auditor General who is the custodian of those assets.

“And it is the business of the Auditor General to then verify what you have brought if they are correct and if they’re not correct, ask you to correct same.

Unfortunately our system is not like that,” she said.

Tags:   Assets and Liabilities Declaration GII Mary Addah

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