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16.07.2008 Social News

Whistleblowers are protected by law – Commissioner

By gna
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Mr. Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has urged the public to be bold and report improprieties against public officials and organisations to the appropriate authorities for investigations, since they would be protected by the law.

Mr. Quayson said a whistleblower is protected from civil or criminal proceedings in respect of a disclosure, unless it is proved that the whistleblower knew that the information contained in the disclosure was false and made with a malicious intent.

Mr. Quayson said this on Tuesday, when he made a presentation on the Whistleblower Act 2006, at a workshop organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative in collaboration with CHRAJ, in Tamale for public officers in the Northern Region.

He said the Whistleblower's Act protects whistleblowers against victimization in any form including: dismissal, suspension, redundancy, denial of promotion, unfair transfer, harassment, intimidation, threats and discrimination.

The Commissioner noted that whenever a whistleblower honestly and reasonably believes that a disclosure he/she had made had led to his/her victimization, such persons should immediately make a complaint to CHRAJ and request for police protection and redress from the High Court.

Mr. Quayson said the Act has made provision to reward whistleblowers whose disclosures would lead to the arrest and conviction of a person or the discovery of misappropriated money.

Mr. Quayson said the order of the CHRAJ would have the same effects as judgment of the High Court and shall be enforceable in the same manner as judgment or order of the High Court.

Mr. Charles Ayamdoo, Deputy Director, Anti-Corruption, CHRAJ, cautioned public officials not to engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or accept private employment or render services for private interests or conduct a private business when such employment, service or business creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of their official duties.

The aim of the two-day workshop was to promote awareness on conflict of interest and participants were taken through topics such as; “Corruption, Forms and Effects”, “The Anti-corruption Mandate of the CHRAJ”, “The Whistleblower Act”, “Concepts of Conflict of Interest (COI) and its importance” and “Examination of COI in other countries”.

Other topics treated include “Receiving/Giving gifts and Gratuities”, “Managing COI Situations”, Abuse of Office/Power and Influence Peddling” and “Recruitment, Employment, Post-Employment Activities and Moonlighting”.

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