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Enhancing Collaboration Between And Among Key Accountability Institutions In Combating Corruption And Crime   
 
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11-Mar-2020  
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Today, 11 March 2020 marks another milestone in Ghana’s efforts to combat corruption and crime. Eleven key accountability institutions would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on information exchange and collaboration in combating corruption and crime.

The Key Accountability Institutions (KAI) for purposes of the MoU are, 1) the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, 2) Parliament of Ghana, 3) Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, 4) the Economic and Organised Crime Office, 5) the Ghana Audit Service, 6) Ghana Police Service, 7) the Financial Intelligence Centre, 8) the Narcotics Control Board, 9) the Internal Audit Agency, 10) the Bureau of National Investigation, and 11) the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Corruption is a very serious problem in the country.  It has devastating effects on the development of the country and a threat to national security. That corruption allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish, is no more in doubt. Moreover, corruption undermines the capacity of the State and its institutions to function efficiently.

 In order to address corruption, various measures have been adopted over the years to combat corruption in the country. These measures include the adoption of legislative and other measures, which have helped to streamline the systems of managing and accounting for the effective and efficient use of Ghana’s limited resources and for improved public service delivery.  Notwithstanding the measures initiated, the Country continues to encounter significant challenges in addressing corruption in particular and fighting crime in general. Among these challenges is the lack of coordination and collaboration between and among KAIs in the country that has, to a large extent, weakened the potential for institutionalizing a culture of transparency and accountability in public life,

That is why the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), adopted by the Parliament of Ghana in 2014 identified collaboration among Anti-Corruption Agencies as a key activity to achieving Strategic Objective 4, which is “to Conduct Effective Investigations and Prosecution of Corrupt Conduct”.

The recommendations of the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) by Ghana require that Ghana takes steps to strengthen collaboration among anti-corruption institutions in the country.

As a result several initiatives have been made to create an environment for regular interaction, cooperation and collaboration including the following:

· Closed Door Roundtable Discussion on Information Exchange among Key Accountability Institutions in Ghana in 2007, followed by a Baseline Survey on Increasing Information Flow among Key Accountability Institutions in Ghana commissioned by the Ghana integrity Initiative in 2008;

· A stakeholder forum organized by CHRAJ, under the theme “Key Public Anti-Corruption Agencies and fulfillment of their Mandates: Achievements, Gaps, and the Way Forward”;

· The establishment of the Steering Committee on the Review of the Implementation of UNCAC by CHRAJ and the work of the High Level Implementation Committee of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP)

The lessons learnt from these events and initiatives point to the irresistible conclusion that streamlining collaboration between and among KAIs is the right way to go. Accordingly, the KAIs established a five member Committee to draft an MoU for consideration and adoption, which was discussed and adopted on 10th March 2020 for execution.

Objectives

The Objectives under the MoU include the following: to exchange information; foster better understanding and cooperation among the KAIs; promote synergy and better co-ordination of activities; enhance capacity of KAIs to address challenges of emerging methods of corruption and crime, and minimize the potential for mandate overlaps.

An Information Exchange Forum shall be established. The Forum shall meet at least, once every quarter, and undertake specific activities including sharing information and experiences; organizing periodic engagements for the public; developing mechanisms for case referrals, taking into account mandates, resources and capabilities; conducting joint activities and investigations as appropriate, developing a strategy for collaboration with civil society and private sector organizations.

The Heads of the KAIs are expected to sign the MoU on 11th March 2020 at the Best Western Premier Hotel, Airport Residential Area at a ceremony to be witnessed by representatives of civil society organisations, the media and the private sector, among others.
 
 
 
 

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