Police Retain 'Heavyweight' Title For The Most Corrupt Institution In Ghana

Corruption is still a beloved bedfellow of our Policemen and Women, in spite of the current fat salary regime for public sector workers, a.k.a. Single Spine Salary Structure (SSS). The Police continue to be the most bribe-taking institution in Ghana, according to The Ghana Integrity Initiative, even though that institution has become so attractive-that even bankers are now willing to cross carpet. In its 2013 compilation of annual institutional corruption in Ghana, the Ghanaian corruption index, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) retained the police service at the number one position on the reprobate pecking order, just as it has been for ages. The police were followed by political parties and the judiciary. “The respondents were asked to assess a number of public institutions as the case in the past; the police topped the list (with 4.7 out of 5) as the most corrupt category of institution, followed by political parties with a score of 4.2 out of 5,” the GII said in a statement of the outcome of a survey of 2,000 respondents. This is about the umpteenth time that the Ghana Police Service has come tops in the Ghana Integrity Initiative’s international corruption barometer, but the shameful statistics that the police represent on the barometer in 2013 is in spite of the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure which has come to quadruple salaries for public sector workers, especially the police. “Of the 38% of the respondents who made contact with the police, 79% paid bribe,” GII’ corruption survey observed. On the survey for 2013, the police lead was closely followed by usual runner’s- up, political parties and the judiciary, with 4.2 out of 5 and 4 respectively. The police, political parties and the judiciary coming first, second and third respectively in the national pageant of corruption in 2013, was just a repetition of a familiar trend on the GII’s institutional index. Though political parties’ retention of the second position is worrisome, the police and judiciary retention of their first and second position on the reprobate ladder since 2009 is a matter of serious alarm to the ordinary Ghanaian since these two institutions are responsible for law and order. It is a matter of very public opinion that a lot of people languishing in Ghana’s rat –infested jails do not even know the offences they have committed. The troubling situation of the Ghana Police and the Judiciary is against the backdrop of the fact that bribery and corruption has deepened in the last two years, the GII said. ‘The respondents were asked if they made contact with a number of the institution and whether they had paid a bribe. In all 54% of the respondents who made contact with various public service institutions reported having paid a bribe. For example, of the 38% of the respondents who made contact with the police, 79% paid a bribe while of the 21% of the respondents who made contact with the Lands service such Lands Department, Land Valuation Town and Country Planning and Land Title Registry, 52% paid bribe. Also, 59% of the respondents made a contact with the education system and out of this 38% paid bride. Although only 16% of the respondents had contact with the judiciary, 57% of this number paid a bribe, giving cause to worry as corruption in the judiciary can send several innocent citizens to prison,” GII observed. Further troubling, the GII’s corruption barometer listed the media as the 7th most corrupt institution in Ghana, and that it has been so consecutive since 2009. The GII’s corruption survey in Ghana was in line with its parent company, Transparency International’s compilation of a Global Corruption Barometer which showed that more than 1 out of 4 people in the World had paid bribe in the last 12 months, to underscore that bribery was on the ascendancy in the global village. Transparency Internationals Global Corruption Barometer is the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption.