The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International, is proposing for the nomination of a lead institution in spearheading the implementation of the Africa Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC).
This was contained in there commendations of the AUCPCC survey conducted by the GII aimed at exploring the extent to which Ghana has been discharging her obligations under the convention.
Ghana has multi-tasked institutions responsible for fighting corruption which include the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and others.
In 2005, AU in recognizing the negative impact of corruption and maladministration on the socio-economic development on the continent adopted a framework to address the teasing challenges.
Hence the coming into force of the AUCPCC, which has 28 articles. A total of forty-nine countries are signatories to the convention, but forty have ratified or acceded. Ghana adopted the convention in 2005 and ratified in 2007.
Currently, CHRAJ) is responsible in leading the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
However, there is no leading institution in Ghana responsible for reporting on the extent the country is implementing its AU Convention on corruption.
Per its provision, article22 (7) of the convention requires member states to submit their initial report on-coming into force of the convention.
Additionally, once, every year, party states are to submit annual report on the extent of compliance of the convention before the meeting of the AU General Assembly.
Ghana submitted its initial report on the compliance of the convention in 2013 and since then, it has failed to submit annual its report on the convention.
Aside this, the AU Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) – a body that follows up on the implementation mechanisms of the convention, sent out questionnaires on the convention for member states to complete.
The questionnaire sought to inform whether countries are meeting the requirements of the convention. The AUABC states that only 13 countries submitted their report and Ghana was not part. A request sent by the AUABC on the development has since been pending.
Speaking to the Goldstreet Business during a capacity building workshop organized by GII, Director of Anti-Corruption Division at CHRAJ, Mr. Charles Ayamdo said the convention requires member states to criminalize illicit enrichment but Ghana has not criminalized it.
“One benefit of criminalizing illicit enrichment is that in many cases, if you don’t find illegality in the assets, you will definitely find that the fellow has defaulted in paying appropriate taxes”, he said.
Many countries have not criminalized illicit enrichment because it is one of the predicate offences of corruption whiles corruption is seen as a clandestine offence.
By Dundas Whigham