A guideline document to regulate institutions and make them accountable in the area of record-keeping was officially launched by the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) in Accra yesterday.
The set of guidelines is to help in the implementation of Section 32, Sub-Section 7 of the Anti-Money laundering Act (MLA) 2020 (Act 1044) and PRAAD Act, 1997 (Act 535).
It mandates all accountable institutions, such as banking institutions and insurance institutions, to transfer all records to PRAAD after five years retention period in accordance with the Section 32 (7) of Act 1044 of the Anti-Money laundering Act.
It also spells out the mode of transfer of records by institutions to the PRAAD, which could either be manually or electronically, sanction to be meted out to defaulting institutions, roles and responsibilities of accountable institutions and retention and disposition of records.
Touching on the retention and disposition of records, the guideline document stipulates that an accountable institution that is a member of a group or subsidiary shall develop its own Retention and Disposition policy.
It adds that no disposition should be carried out by an accountable institution without the notification and approval of PRAAD and should be subject to the country’s laws.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, the Director of PRAAD, Mr Maxwell Ampofo, said the launch of the guideline document was vital as the records of accountable institutions needed to be protected to serve as evidence.
He further explained that his outfit sought to allow accountable institutions to transfer records to private archival institutions or vendors who were certified and met the standards required by PRAAD.
According to Mr Ampofo, PRAAD has had series of engagements with the private vendors who would be dealing with accountable institutions to explain to them the standards required and as such they would be monitored on a consistent basis by the monitoring team.
On his part, the Head of Civil Service, Mr Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Reforms Coordinating Unit, Mrs Elizabeth Obeng-Yeboah, noted that the guideline document would help in reducing the threat of money laundering in modern time to its barest minimum.
Mrs Obeng-Yeboah acknowledged the importance of good record keeping, saying “the whole Section 32 of the Money-laundering Act is dedicated to record management as it serves as the source evidence of transaction as well as the main element of ensuring compliance by institutions.”
She opined that sustaining and winning the fight against the menace required commitment of all stakeholders and therefore called on them to support PRAAD in that regard.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Mr Kwaku Dua, in a speech read on his behalf, recounted efforts made by FIC in collaboration with PRAAD to ensure that Ghana exited the “grey” list.
He indicated that sharing knowledge and ensuring standard practice was equally of essence, hence the development of the MLA.
Mr Kwaku Dua pledged FIC’s support to PRAAD in ensuring that all records of institutions were kept to serve as evidence while they comply with the provisions of the guidelines.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY & CHARLOTTE BARNS