The Crusaders Against Corruption, Ghana (CACG) has encouraged the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to share relevant information and updates on investigations, prosecutions, and its activities with the public more frequently.
This, the CACG said, must also include the OSP’s achievements in line with the expected result of its mandate, as this could help build trust.
The Crusaders stated this in a reactionary statement to the OSP’s published half-yearly report between January 1 and June 30, 2023, signed by Mr. Emmanuel Wilson Junior Chief Crusader of the CACG and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema.
It was noted that sharing such information with the public would also keep the taxpayer and the public well informed about the progress and impact of the OSP’s anti-corruption efforts.
The Crusaders also urged the OSP to invest in ongoing training and professional development for its employees to further enhance the office’s ability to combat corruption and help instill Good Governance.
It added that they were prepared to partner with the OSP to successfully execute these training and capacity-building activities.
They commended the OSP for working with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a collaborative manner while advising the Office to continue the same with other relevant stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, government agencies, particularly civil society organizations, and international counterparts, as that could promote coordinated efforts in fighting corruption and facilitating information sharing.
On streamlining its processes, the CSO noted that from the entirety of the report, it was suggestive that the OSP was failing to prioritise to achieve its objectives, and therefore urged the Office to develop systems that would aide them to prioritise and efficiently handle cases that were based on severity, impact, and available resources so to help maximise the effectiveness in combating corruption.
Touching on the funding of the Office, the CACG said that even though it was public knowledge that the OSP was not adequately funded by the government, the report was silent on the state of funding in the period in question.
“No financial report of budget and expenditure is included in this report. CACG is, however, encouraging the government to give the needed funding and financial resources to the office of the special prosecutor to support their operations, including conducting thorough investigations.”
They proposed regular evaluation and assessment of the performance and impact of the OSP’s activities to help identify areas for improvement and ensure accountability due to the danger that corruption poses and the urgency with which the fight against corruption should be executed.
The CACG also stated that there was an urgent need for the establishment of the Independent Prosecutorial Oversight Commission (IPOC) to ensure that the government does not exercise full control over the cases that were handled by the OSP.
According to the Crusaders, they observed that, with reference to Section III of the OSP’s report, it fell short of communicating clearly and specifically the tangible results of how the Office had reduced corruption in the past.
It also stated that conspicuously missing in the report are equally important cases of corruption and criminal cases of alleged vote-buying in the approval of district chief executives and internal elections of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
They noted that such vote-buying activities violate Sections 240 and 241 of the Criminal Code of 1960 in the following instances:
They also indicated that based on the provided information in the report, it was challenging to evaluate the work of the OSP specifically or assess potential areas for improvement without additional details and context regarding the specific corruption cases investigated and prosecuted, the outcomes of those cases, and the overall performance of the Office fulfilling its mandate.
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