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Parliament passes Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill to make corruption felony

Parliament has passed the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill 2020, categorizing the offence of corruption as a felony.

The move is to introduce stiffer punishment to deter public officers from engaging in corrupt practices

Following the amendment, subject to presidential assent, a person found guilty of engaging in any form of corrupt act could go to jail between for not less than 12 years and not more than 25 years.

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Assemblies’ Common Fund rip-off rises to GH¢124.82 million

Some officials of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies mismanaged funds and resources of their assemblies to a financial value of approximately GH¢124.82 million in 2019, the Auditor-General has revealed.

The financial irregularities for 2019 represent a 3.53% rise from the 2018 figure of approximately GH¢120.56 million. In nominal terms, the increase is approximately GH¢4.2m. 

“The findings once again showed lack of commitment on the part of the management of Assemblies in the implementation and enforcement of my audit recommendations towards mitigating infringements of the laws. I also attributed the situation to non-imposition of sanctions to minimise the violations,” says the Auditor-General in a letter transmitting his latest report to the Speaker of Parliament.

Comparative irregularities from 2015 to 2019 financial years
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Internal Audit Agency Swoops on MDAs

According to Mrs Juliet Aboagye-Wiafe, President of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Ghana, the work of internal auditors facilitate good corporate governance and compliance. These in turn ‘provide strong inputs for organisational or business sustainability and prevent corporate scandals, fraud and failures.’

Mrs Aboagye-Wiafe reportedly said this at the IIA’s 2019 Annual National Internal Audit and Governance Conference.

In June 2019, Auditor-General Mr. Daniel Yao Domelevo also stated that it is better to prevent corruption. Therefore, making internal auditors independent is one of the control mechanisms that government can put in place to prevent corruption. He even suggested to the Presidency to consider the inclusion of the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Government’s Economic Management Team to help control expenditure within certain strategic sectors.  He took the view that internal auditors would provide timely information on lapses within the Public Financial Management system to enable the E. M. T. take judicious measures to address identified inefficiencies.

In spite of these authorities speaking favourably on internal auditors, Corruption Watch has come across cases from its investigations in which some internal auditors have allegedly been professionally abused and harassed for refusing to be compromised.

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Education on corruption has been underestimated in the country – Kofi Abotsi

The Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Kofi Abotsi has called for education on corruption to be intensified in the country.

He says the country has not been able to effectively deal with corruption because education on the vice is downplayed in the country.

“I think that the depth of civic education, particularly in our schools over the years has been problematic and that’s something we will want to look at and intensify so that people group with that mindset of the civic spirit,” he said.

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Investigate GHC3.6m Additional Feeding Cost of BECE Free Hotmeals – Akufo-Addo Urged

Mr. Edem Senanu, Co- Chair of the Citizens Movement Against Corruption, has called on President Akufo Addo to institute an immediate investigation into the discrepancies in the number of BECE candidates who have benefited from the free hot meals, discrepancies which raise the cost of the free meals by  about 3.6 million Ghana Cedis.

The disparities in the figures relate to a difference of 52,295 BECE candidates between the figure of 584,000 BECE candidates announced by President Akufo-Addo and 531,705 BECE candidates published by the West Africa Education Council (WAEC).

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Would the Special Prosecutor please keep us updated on the corruption fight?

In my humble opinion, it was a step in the right direction when somewhere last year, the NPP Communication Director, the Honourable Yaw Buaben Asamoah called on the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to keep Ghanaians updated on the progress of the corruption fight.

Dearest reader, you may agree to disagree, but I am of the opinion that the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu to the position of the Special Prosecutor with a mandate of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from greedy and corrupt public officials, is, arguably, the most important appointment by President Akufo-Addo thus far.

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Ekumfi NCCE engages citizens on Social Auditing

Participants at a day’s Social Auditing engagement has called on the Ekumfi District Assembly and duty bearers to involve community members in policy formulation, planning and projects implementation to improve lives.

The participants said involving them in decisions would enable them to prioritize their needs for the Assembly to implement.

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Agyapa Deal Still Has Unanswered Questions; Suspend It For More Discussions – 22 CSOs

The alliance of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the extractive, anti-corruption and good governance areas have reiterated the call for the government to suspend the Agyapa Mineral Royalty deal for a further national conversation on it.
According to the CSOs, there are still “important questions that require a national conversation to be addressed.”

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Registrar-General deploys Central Beneficial Ownership Register

The Register-General will be deploying a new Central Beneficial Ownership Register for all companies operating in the country.

According to Jemima Oware, this will end the lack of information about the ownership of businesses incorporated in the country which she described as creating a “dangerous and widening gap” in the country’s fight against corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing and other forms of financial crimes.

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A summary of the issues against the AGYAPA royalties deal

Yesterday, fifteen (15) individual civil society organisations and groups which were organized under the broad fraternity of “Alliance of CSOs Working on Extractives, Anti-corruption, and Good Governance” took the Agyapa debate a notch higher when they called for a suspension of the implementation of the MIIF.

The sum of their demand is that they want all the documents relating to the establishment of the Agyapa Royalties Limited, and its beneficial owners to be “disclosed” before government continues with the implementation of the deal.

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