Anti-corruption campaign must focus on giver

Accra, Aug. 31, GNA – Ethics and Integrity Compliance Advocate has commended the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for its relentless campaign against corruption, and called for a paradigm shift to rope in the provider.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, a member of the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Advocates noted that the fight against corruption must be broaden to deal with the giver of a bribe.

He said making the attempt to corrupt a public officer a high crime, would help to reduce the act.

CHRAJ in collaboration with the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) recently trained about 40 officers from 36 institutions to serve as Ethics and Integrity Compliance Officers to effectively coordinate integrity issues within their institutions and also to enhance public sector integrity.

Mr Ameyibor in an interview with the GNA said analytical study of the corruption perception index indicates that most public institutions and bodies with high volume of business operation with the private sector are rated high.

The potentials of drivers corrupting the police daily are high; the business community daily attempts to influence Ghana Revenue Authority officials; and the Courts are always confronted with rich and powerful litigants.

He noted that other public officials are always lured to accept bribes from scrupulous private sector operators who are not patient to allow the system to flow, ‘they want short cut to achieve their aim.’

Mr Ameyibor stressed the need for a paradigm shift to focus on both ‘the receiver as well as the giver…we must have corruption perception index rating private sector and civil society organisations with the penchant to corrupt public officials’.

He noted that CHRAJ and NACAP’s efforts to relentlessly build structures and institutions to deal with public sector corruption would be a mirage if the giver is not arrested; adding ‘we must stop people from making the offer in the first place, let’s cut the supply chain’.

Mr Richard Quayson, the acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, explained that the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Officers have also been equipped with the ability to organize capacity building activities for staff of the institution under the supervision of the head and management of the institution.

He said the Ethics and Compliance Officers would also be mandated to plan, develop, implement and sustain integrity programmes within the institution, and act as focal persons to liaise with CHRAJ and the NACAP for support in matters relating to the code of conduct for public officers in particular and integrity in general.

Meanwhile, CHRAJ in collaboration with the Office of the President and other strategic stakeholders has validated reporting tool developed for monitoring the implementation of NACAP.

Mr Quayson told the Ghana News Agency that in order to assist NACAP implementing partners and agencies, the National Monitoring Committee developed a reporting tool to ensure effective day-to-day monitoring for evidence based reporting.

This calls for the reinforcement of the capacity of public institutions to detect, deter and eliminate risks of corruption in their systems and procedures.

Another objective of the training is to discuss NACAP and the role of MDAs in its implementation.

In a related development, Mr Daniel Batidam, an anti-corruption campaigner, serving as a Governance Advisor at the Office of the President, has said ‘The talk is over! Indeed the work is ongoing!! As a country we have tried various methods to combat corruption in the past. We reviewed those earlier strategies and have developed an antidote to it, which is NACAP’.

He said the development of the NACAP took into consideration the various causes and effects of corruption, the challenges previous measures encountered and the lessons learnt.

Mr Batidam noted that NACAP is a departure from the earlier strategies that focused only on the public sector and has extended the fight against corruption to the private sector, recognizing that the private sector has a key role to play in implementation.

‘Therefore, rhetoric has no place at this material time. It can only derail the process and divert attention from the implementation of NACAP. It is time we concentrated on solutions. We can only make progress by supporting the implementation of the plan.

‘The fight against corruption is everybody’s concern. The role of the citizen is critical. Citizens constitute the most reliable resource and are the greatest weapon in this battle against corruption,’ he said.

‘We need to build the capacity of the public to condemn corruption and make it a high risk, low gain endeavor. This requires that citizens themselves must rise up to the challenges of fighting corruption and understand the role they have to play.

‘Everybody must walk the talk and strive to be a role model. That is the way we, so-called anti-corruption campaigners, must undertake to go,’ Mr Batidam noted.


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