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Social Auditing Clubs trained to monitor development projects

Social Auditing Clubs (SACS) have been charged to ensure the implementation of audit recommendations at the Metropolitan, Municipal, and the District Assemblies (MMDAs).

They should also ensure the auditing of community-based development projects.

Mr. Jacob Tettch Abuno, the Project Coordinator of Ghana Integrity Initiate (GII), made the call in a speech at a day’s Zonal level capacity building training in Cape Coast.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) organized the training for SACS members from Central and Western Regions.

Mr Abuno said the training was to strengthen the capacity of members to monitor development projects and to engage duty bearers at their localities in the fight against corruption.

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Foreign Aid and corruption in Africa

African countries have been receiving FOREIGN AID since independence for the past 60years, and Africa is yet to be developed or self-reliant. Since 1970, the world has spent over five trillion dollars in aid. Much of that money has come to Africa. Helping Africa is a noble cause, but the campaign has become a theater of rampage corruption, and abuse of power.

The Marshall Plan was an American initiative passed in 1948 for foreign aid to Western Europe. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity. However, it hasn’t been the case in Africa. Foreign Aid has contributed to corruption in Africa through the large amounts of money that are sent over, and exploitation of resources.

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NCCE survey identifies bribery, favouritism as main forms of corruption

Ghanaians have identified bribery, favouritism and fraud as the main form of corruption in the country a survey conducted by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) under the Accountability, Rule of law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) has established.

The survey, which focused on citizens’ awareness and knowledge of corruption, its causes and effect in Ghana established that corruption was endemic.

The NCCE as part of its civic education engagements has since 2017 been involved in numerous education programmes aimed at supporting Ghana’s anti-corruption and public accountability drive.

The Survey report made available to the Ghana News Agency at Tema on Friday captured a sampled size of 4,220 Ghanaians between 20 to 29 years. The survey used purposive, systematic, and simple random sampling techniques, from 108 districts, On the level of corruption, both studies-a baseline in 2017 and an end-line survey in 2020, established that corruption was high.

Majority of the baseline study respondents representing 91.4 per cent also ranked the level of corruption as high compared with 86.8 per cent in the end-line.

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Fight against corruption: Critical ingredients for achievement of SDGs

The National Commission for Civic Education has tagged public accountability, rule of law, good governance, efficient management of the environment and natural resources devoid of corruption as critical ingredients necessary for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The NCCE recounted that the targets of goal 16 of the SDGs was the call for substantial reduction of corruption and bribery in all its forms and the need for nations to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.

Ms Josephine Nkrumah, NCCE Chairperson in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, explained that Ghana like many other developing nations established several anti-corruption and public accountability institutions for the fight against corruption.

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Ghana scores average mark on 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index

Ghana has scored an average mark of 43 out of 100 on the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International.

This left the country being ranked 75 out of 180 nations captured in the 2020 index.

The CPI draws upon 13 data sources which capture the assessment of experts and business executives on a number of corrupt behaviours in the public sector.

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NCCE commended, advised to do more after it launched End-Line Survey on Corruption

Speakers at the launch of the End-Line Survey on Public Opinion on the State of Corruption, Public Accountability and Environmental Governance in Ghana conducted by the NCCE, commended the Commission for a good job done in producing the report.

Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Linda Ofori-Kwafo, who reviewed the report praised the Commission for adopting an appropriate project management approach and for adopting a robust research methodology that covered 108 districts in all 16 regions of the country.

Stating that the fight against corruption was yielding some marginal results, Mrs. Ofori-Kwafo noted that the bit about whistle blowers not being safe is damning. She therefore called for more funding for NCCE and effective collaboration between the Commission and state institutions to do more to fight against corruption.

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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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