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26.10.2004 Politics

GII warns on political corruption in Dec Polls

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THE LOCAL CHAPTER of Transparency International (II), a leading non-governmental organisation (NGO) devoted to the fight against corruption, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), says Ghana is diverting from the path of fighting against corruption based on its score of 3.6 and 64th rank among the 146 countries in this year's Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

“This year's score should remind us that Ghana is far from winning the fight against corruption. In fact when the score for this year is placed side-by-side with those of the last couple of years, it become clear that very little has changed on the anti-corruption front,” all noted, adding that the score indicated that the country had been staging at the bottom third position of the CPI .

It further stated that the abuse of political power for private gain had been the bane of failed political leadership in the country and many other developing countries over the years.

“The successive governments failed to demonstrate the will to fight corruption among their own appointees and high ranking public servants, thereby undermining their ability to effectively address the canker of corruption” it added.

Launching this year's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) last Wednesday in Accra, the Executive Secretary of GII, Mr. Daniel Batidam, said “this year being an election year, GII would lie to take this opportunity to sound a note of warning on political perception which was the theme of the Global Corruption Report (GCR-2004) launched earlier this year”.

Ghana is ranked 64th on the list of 146 countries included in this year's index with a score of 3.6. This score of 3.6 is a slight improvement over last year's score of 3.3 though still low than 3.9 recorded in 2002.

According to the Executive Secretary, the 2004 index on Ghana was based on data from seven surveys conducted between 2002 and 2004.

The survey used in compiling the CPI asks questions that relate to the misuse of public power for private benefit, with a focus on bribe taking by public officials in the public procurement or embezzlement of public funds.

The real indicator of a country's performance, Mr. Batidam said, was the score and not the ranking, stressing that s higher score is an indication that respondents provided a better rating than previously, while a low score suggests perception downwards.

He said this less than impressive position underscore the continuing need for long-term institutional reforms and systems solution to prevent and punish corrupt officials.

Batidam, however, commended the government for passing the Public Procurement Act and urged that the integrity with which the new procurement board oversees the public procurement should be effective.

In Africa, 36 countries participated, out of which Ghana ranked 7th from the top, coming after Botswana, Tunisia, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius and Namibia. Botswana leads the region with a score of 6.0.

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