24.01.2008 Politics

Code of Conduct for Public Officials to be ready this year, says CHRAG

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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is developing a comprehensive code of conduct for public officials and the draft would be put before the general public for discussions by the end of this year.

Mr. Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, who said this added that, the Commission was also adopting prevention of corruption and its educational aspect as some of the strategies it intended to use to achieve its goal of reducing opportunities for corrupt practices in the communities.

He was speaking at a Public forum organized by the Commission at Wa on Wednesday, on the new guidelines on conflict of interest, which it had developed for public officials.

Mr Quayson said, "zero tolerance for corruption" was achievable and as corruption affected everybody in the society adversely, it was necessary that all citizens joined hands to eradicate it to pave way for rapid development of the nation.

On the "Whistle blowers Act", he noted that, corruption took place in the midst of people and the Act therefore emboldened people to report to the appropriate authorities on any unlawful act by public officers in the course of their duties.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Upper West Regional Minister, Mr. George Hikah Benson, said the virtues of transparency and accountability seemed to have eluded the country since independence despite efforts by various governments to instil them in the society.

He said the NPP government has demonstrated this commitment to fighting corruption by enacting the Public Procurement, Financial Administration and the Internal Audit Acts but their effectiveness would depend on the vigilance of every citizen.

He observed that, while the general public had limited access to information, public officers often felt reluctant to give out information for certain reasons and that trend retarded progress and development of the nation.

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