Speakers at a forum organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs in Accra, on Tuesday stunned many by the revelation that the Asset Declaration regime of the country is “impotent”.

The speakers who were quoted widely in the media were unanimous in their view that the Assets Declaration Act is not potent enough in fighting corruption.

The speakers; Mr Daniel Domelevo, the current Auditor-General and Prof. Edward Duah-Agyeman, a former Auditor-General made these observations at a round table discussion on “Fighting Corruption in public Sector of Ghana” the role of Assets Declaration” in Accra.

The view of the two speakers confirms a long held view by many Ghanaians that some of the laws in our books are inimical rather than inure to our benefit.

The surprise element is that it is coming from two Auditor-Generals who are the custodians of the Act.  The question is why are they now saying that the law is ineffective?

The 1992 Constitution provided, as part of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers (the Public Office Holders Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550) which requires a disclosure of assets in concealed envelopes and presented to the Auditor-General with the aim of ensuring accountability .

Many Ghanaians have had doubts about the effectiveness of the assets declaration in its current form to fight corruption.

Indeed, many have questioned the non-verification of the content of the declaration and lack of sanctions for non-compliance which they say, made the law ineffective in addressing corruption.

The Ghanaian Times fully shares the opinion that the law is not effective enough as an anti-corruption tool to combat the menace in the country.

We dare say that the lapses in the law give public officials the opportunity to either comply or ignore the law without any sanction.

We are therefore, of the view that the law should be reviewed to make it more effective in order to combat corruption.

We have no doubts in our minds that corruption is pervasive in all spheres of public life and the fight against it should be carried out holistically.

But we also know that it is possible to minimise corruption among public officials with very potent laws before tackling the rest.

It is, therefore, important to make the laws effective and strictly enforce them to achieve the desired result.

We urge the amendment of the law or the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, so that we can first fight corruption among public office holders as we try to fight the canker nationwide.





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