Ghana scored ‘D’ in the latest Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index on African Militaries, authored by Transparency International (TI).
This means Ghana was at high risk of corruption in the national defence and security set-up, according to the index.
The country scored between 33.3 and 49.9 – the highest on the continent – alongside Benin, Cape Verde, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa in the 47-nation ranking.
The index, which measures the risk of corruption in national defence and security establishments, considered five principal risk areas which include political, financial, personnel, operations and procurement risks.
Ghana performed ‘strongest’ in the areas of political and personnel risks, but performed poorly in the areas of finance, operations and procurement risks.
The latest report was the second in a series on defence and security on the continent after 18 were first surveyed in 2014.
The finding revealed that defence spending was on the increase across the continent by 91 per cent, but institutional capacity was lagging, increase in defence spending was not enhancing state security and that defence ‘exemptionalis’ was common on the continent in the fight against corruption.
“In many cases, oversight functions exist in the form of anti-corruption bodies, audit functions and parliamentary committees but defence institutions are largely exempted from scrutiny,” the report noted.
It added that issues on defence were considered highly sensitive and evaded vital scrutiny and added that “this secrecy is often unjustified and can be used to mask corruption, misuse and incompetence”.
According to the report, parliamentary defence committees were particularly weak across the continent with little evidence that they were exerting meaningful influence on defence decision making.
The report, in the case of Ghana, admitted that there were existing good practices that needed to be built on, to improve its systems, including making the Ghana Armed Forces code of conduct public.
Launching the report in Accra yesterday, Board Chairman of the GII, Mr. Kwame Gyasi, said the research was in line with one of Transparency International’s core principles which was committed to the fight against corruption.
“GII intends to achieve this by continuously creating awareness about the negative effects of corruption and to empower citizens to demand responsiveness and transparency from both public and private institutions in Ghana”, he stated.
Executive Director of GII, Mr. Vitus Azeem, noted that with greater openness and public engagement, the military could get much more credit for the controls and processes it has put in place.
Transparency, he said, was a necessary precondition for the exercise of accountability adding that “without access to clear, accurate and up-to-date information, it is impossible to judge whether standards are complied with”.
By Julius Yao Petetsi
& Abigail Annoh