Mr Justice Yaw Appau, the Sole Commissioner, Judgement Debt Commission, has called for an independent Attorney-General (A-G), with no political affiliation, to ensure proper accountability and check corruption in public institutions in the country.
He suggested that the appointment and working conditions of such A-G should be similar to that of the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) or the Electoral Commissioner.
Justice Appau made the suggestion on Wednesday in Accra, at the 36th Management Day Celebration of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), on the theme: “Accountability and Corruption: Building the Integrity of Ghanaian Public Institutions.”
He indicated that it is not right for the A-G to play dual role of Minister of State and Cabinet Member and Prosecutor-General.
The Sole Commissioner said the A-G takes the final decision to either prosecute or not, any public official, whose act or conduct results in financialimpropriety or loss to the state.
Justice Apau noted that “Because of this dual position of the A-G, he/she is crippled in sufficiently performing this function, because of political solidarity. In order that sanctions can be made part of our accountability regime in all spheres of our public life and properly, irrespective of the individual or institution involved, the state has to take a second look at this dual role of the A-G.”
Justice Appau asked government to strengthen and tighten institutional structures in the public services and ensure proper record management, to promote accountability.
He called for the strict enforcement of laws on accountability and application of sanctions of public officials who cause financial or property loss to the state.
Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, the former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, also urged Parliament to expedite action on the Rights to Information Bill, to enable the people to demand accountability from public officials.
He called for a truly independent well-resourced Auditor General to enable him/her expose corrupt public officials in the country.
The UGBS Management Day was first marked in 1980, with the objective of fostering relations between industry and academia.
By Joseph Edu Archison and Jenifer Apprey