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Zero Tolerance For Corruption …8 New Laws Pop Up Under Nana Addo Gov’t.

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has pointed out some eight legislations passed under the current Government as part of measures to augment its zero tolerance for corruption policy.

These legislations, Godfred Dame explained, are aimed at strengthening existing measures in fighting the canker of corruption that has bedeviled various sectors in the country.

In a speech read on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the 14th Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Accra, Ghana, the Attorney General  mentioned; Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1029),  Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982), State Interests and Governance Authority Act, 2019 (Act 990), Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044), Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015),  Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992),  Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) and  Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047) as the legislations introduced to curb corruption.

“Other pieces of anti-corruption legislation passed in recent times, are part of the raft of measures instituted to create a strong system for deterrence and elimination of corruption”, Godfred Dame disclosed.

The Attorney General noted: “Corruption sometimes involves existence of situations taken advantage of by persons entrusted with public power to inflict severe financial hardships on the State.

“In order to curb the inimical tendency on the part of public officers to enter into contracts with high rates of interest especially compound interest which result in huge judgment debt and financial loss to the State, the Office of Attorney-General in July, 2023 successfully sponsored an amendment to the Contracts Act, 1960 (Act 25) to prohibit the payment of compound interest by the State in transactions entered into on her behalf by public officers.

“The law, the Contracts (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1114), prohibits public officers from entering into a contract on behalf of the State in which the rate of interest is stipulated as compound interest”

Godfred Dame  revealed further that Ghana has in recent times, embarked on a deliberate policy of digitalisation of the Ghanaian environment as a vital tool for enhancing transparency and efficiency in the public sector.

“Policies like a robust National Identification System, Digital Property Address System, Paperless Port Systems, E-Justice Systems, Pensions and Insurance data and a digitized Land Title Registry have in their focus the attainment of accountability and efficiency in the public space.

His address noted that “a digitised environment ultimately helps to eliminate and prevent corruption in various institutions and agencies. Important institutions of state like the Passport Office, Ports and Harbours, Office of the Registrar of Companies, National Health Insurance Service and the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority, which hitherto were fertile grounds for corrupt activity, have been remarkably transformed.

“The introduction of the Ghana.Gov platform, making it possible for services to be accessed and payment made online by card without the conduit of middlemen, has significantly reduced the risk of public sector corruption through embezzlement”, Godfred Dame noted.

The Conference

Heads of anti-corruption agencies from twenty one countries in Commonwealth Africa have converged in Accra, Ghana’s capital  for  the 14th Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies

The four-day event under theme, ‘Strength­ening institutions and promoting transparency: A means of fighting corruption in Commonwealth Africa’, is expected to attract over 120 delegates.

This year’s annual conference organised by Ghana’s Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), is graced by representatives from Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Malawi, Rwanda, Togo, Gabon, Mauritius, Seychelles, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Zambia.

COP Maame Yaa Addo-Danquah (Mrs.), Executive Director of EOCO at a media briefing revealed that this is the second time Ghana is hosting the event and would have other stakeholders such as governmental agencies, civil society organisations, and international partners in attendance

“Gabon and Togo are the new additions to the Commonwealth countries, so they are also joining from francophone countries,” She added.

COP Addo-Danquah reaffirmed the country’s dedication to fostering integrity and accountability on the continent thereby setting the stage for collaborative action against corruption.

Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the Commonwealth Africa is hosted by different member countries on a gyrating basis.

Since 2011, a total of 13 meetings have been held.

In 2023, one was held  at  Mahe, Seychelles under the theme “Uniting Commonwealth  Africa in the Fight Against Corruption” and Officially opened  President Wavel Ramkalawan of the Republic of Seychelles

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