The Better Corruption Solution: Examining anti-corruption measures in 2020 NDC & NPP Manifestos
In December 2018, the civil society fraternity under the auspices of Corruption Watch raised concerns about “the creeping normalization of corruption among the populace” pointing out that it poses a threat to development. The civil society actors pointed to several indices to drum home the point that Ghana has stagnated in its fight against corruption for the last decade or so.
For purposes of this discussion and in order to balance the scale for the NPP and NDC, we can examine indices for the eight-year period 2013-2020.
The Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) results show that between 2013 and 2019, Ghana has never attained a score of 50, which will represent at least a pass mark. From a score of 46 in 2013, Ghana improved to 48 in 2014 and has since declined steadily, hitting 40 points in 2017 before making marginal improvement to score 41 in both 2018 and 2019.
A similar trend emerges if you break down data from the seven rounds of the Afrobarometer surveys. Fundamentally, the story is that perceptions of corruption amongst public officials and informal leaders have been rising.
A major concern, however, has been on the opacity that surrounds investigations because it is widely believed that punishing corrupt persons will serve as a deterrent to potential offenders.
Key unresolved cases
Let’s talk about just ten (10) of the unresolved alleged grand corruption cases that both the NPP and NDC have superintended.
- The GH¢51 million Alfred Woyome case
- The case in which the Central Medical Stores was burnt down in 2015 to allegedly cover up 3.5 million Ghana Cedis of alleged fraud, causing this country to lose about GH¢350 million worth of medicines and medical supplies
- The BOST fuel saga in which an estimated GH¢1.5 million, which was lost to BOST between 2014 and 2017.
- The 100 million dollars aircraft purchase scandal in which Ghana Gas money was used to purchase aircrafts at alleged inflated cost.
- The “empty” ambulance scandal
- The missing excavators scandal
- The Kwasi Nyantakyi case
- The galamsey bribe scandal
- The contracts for sale case involving the suspended PPA boss
- The Australia Visa scandal
Let’s end on the note that Ghana is well acclaimed for its laws. Our bane, however, has always been enforcement of the laws. So, since 2013, this country has passed some beautifully crafted laws.
The NDC, for instance, detailed in the “Green Book” of 2016 that, raft of legislative instruments, laws, constitutional instruments and other legislations were prepared and put before Parliament for approval.
Here are a handful of legislations promulgated from 2013 to 2016:
- The Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914)
- Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 874)
- Anti-Terrorism(Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 875)
- Adoption by Parliament of National Anticorruption Action Plan (NACAP) – July 2014. The NACAP is basically the national blueprint for fighting corruption over the period 2015-2024.
On the other hand, here are a handful of legislative reforms carried out under the NPP since 2017.
- The Witness Protection Act, 2018 (Act 959)
- The Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2018 (Act 959)
- Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015)
- Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (LI 2378)
- The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2019 (Act 989)
- The Companies Act, 2019, (Act 992), which provides a framework for establishing a beneficial ownership register
As I indicated a moment ago, the NACAP is basically the national blueprint for fighting corruption over the period 2015-2024. The means from now till the 2024 elections, whatever blue print proposed by the political parties should address gaps in our system to help us achieve the objectives of the NACAP.
The strategic objectives of NACAP are to:
- Build public capacity to condemn and fight corruption and make its practice a high-risk, low-gain activity;
- Institutionalize efficiency, accountability and transparency in the public, private and not-for profit sectors;
- Engage individuals, media and civil society organisations in reporting and combating corruption; and
- Conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt conduct.
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