Transparency International in its 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) has called on the Government to sanction corrupt officials to serve as deterrent to others.
Transparency International said though Ghana was touted to have considerable anti-corruption frameworks, including sanctioning laws, the lack of commitment on sanctioning corruption, particularly, political corruption was worrying.
The 2021 Corruption Perception Index report, therefore, recommended that the Government and state anti-corruption institutions worked effectively towards making corruption a high risk and a low gain venture to reduce the incidences of abuse of power, impunity and corruption.
The 2021 CPI, the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, focuses on Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights.
According to the CPI report, Ghana failed to make progress in the fight against corruption in the year 2021, maintained its score of 43 in 2020.
Transparency International said corruption was a multi-faceted problem, and one that needed to be solved by ending its vicious cycle, human rights violations and democratic decline.
It, therefore, asked that governments around the world upheld the rights needed to hold power to account; restore and strengthen institutional checks on power; combat transnational forms of corruption and uphold the right to information in government spending.
The 2021 CPI further called for an enhanced institutional check on power with public oversight bodies, including anti-corruption agencies and audit institutions operating fully and independently from the executive as their mandates demanded.
“They should continuously be well-resourced with budgets allocated to them fully disbursed and empowered to effectively investigate and sanction corruption timeously,” the 2021 CPI report stated.
It said, agencies of state responsible for guarding the rights of citizens should take active roles in ensuring expeditious investigations into violations of the rights of civil society and media activists as well as human rights defenders and facilitate justice for crimes against all.
“Parliament and the courts should also be vigilant in preventing executive overreach,” the report added.
In improving transparency and accountability in political party and campaign financing, the 2021 CPI said the Electoral Commission should be held accountable to ensure the enforcement of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574), particularly Section 21, which related to the disclosure of funding sources by political parties.
Parliament, it noted, should also amend Act 574 to include disclosure on funding sources for candidates contesting Presidential and Parliamentary elections, and said there should also be a ceiling on how much could be raised and spent by candidates contesting those elections.