The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Wednesday in Accra signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ten accountability institutions to assist in the fight against corruption.
The institutions include: Parliament, Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, Economic and Organized Crime Office, Ghana Audit Service, Financial Intelligence Centre, Narcotics Control Board, Internal Audit Agency, Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), Ghana Police Service, and Office of the Special Prosecutor.
This was made possible with the support from the European Union and Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP).
Mr Richard Ackom Quayson, Deputy CHRAJ Commissioner, said over the years various measures have been adopted to combat corruption and crime in businesses.
The measures, he said, includes the adoption of pragmatic legislations and other measures to streamline the systems to ensure the management of accountable, effective and efficient use of Ghana’s limited resources to improve public service delivery.
“Notwithstanding the measures initiated in the MOU, there are still countless challenges against fighting corruption, crime and the continuous challenge in line with meeting key accountability institutions,” he said.
Mr Quayson said they have identified the need to have strong collaboration among key accountability institutions as this is the key to achieving the strategic goal which is to conduct effective investigations and prosecutions.
He said the first cycle review of the implementation against corruption recommended that Ghana should take steps to improve collaborations among anti-corruption agencies and key accountability institutions, hence the adoption of the MOU.
He said the objective of the MOU include exchanging of information, foster better understanding and corporation, promote synergy and better coalition of information among key accountability institutions.
He said protocols would be developed to enable the key accountability institutions to engage in specific activities like sharing information and experiences, organizing periodic engagement for the public and developing mechanisms for peace and joint investigations.
Mr Joseph Whittal, CHRAJ Commissioner, said Ghanaians expect a lot from accountability institutions in the fight against corruption and crime, so the institutions mandated under the law are expected to put their synergies to work.
“We cannot fight it individually, hence the collaboration and the MOU marks the beginning of the coalition of all the energies of the key anti-corruption institutions agreeing to work together,” he said.
Mr Whittal said the MOU should not be put down to gather dust but rather actualized and the institutions involved have no excuse to fail Ghanaians.
He said gathering eleven key accountability institutions under one roof was a duty worth honouring and within a month the MOU would come to force.
Commissioner of Police Frank Adu-Poku Rtd, Executive Director of Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), said their institution was key so far as the fight against corruption was concerned but they could not do it alone and was committed to ensure that the MOU would lead to effective action.
He said EOCO’s doors were opened to support the initiative to help fight against corruption and crime in the country.
Mr Francis Kofi Torkonoo, Executive Secretary Narcotics Control Board, said the ceremony was one of the many efforts to eliminate corruption and various workshops, suggestions, recommendations and actions have been suggested.
He said the agreement by key accountability institutions to work together would bring to reality all what was intended individually and the synergy to bring corruption down in the country.
Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, Member of Parliament for Offinso South, said the collaborative agenda being spear headed by CHRAJ was a laudable idea and should bring all stakeholders on board.
“This will go a long way to fight and also minimize corruption and crime,” he said.
He said Parliament is one of the key institutions and is committed to ensure the agenda of the MOU was realised.