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04.01.2005 General News

Civil Service to establish Accountability Unit

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Accra, Jan. 4, GNA - The Office of the Head of Civil Service is to establish an Accountability Unit for the Civil Service as part of moves to check corruption in the Service.

Dr Alex Glover-Ouartey, Head of the Service, said the Unit, to be established this year with the help of the Governance Programme, would serve as a channel where the public and Civil Servants could lodge cases of corruption in the Service

Dr Glover-Quartey was reacting on Tuesday to the State of the Nation Address President John Agyekum Kufuor delivered to Parliament. In his a 65-minute address to Parliament, President Kufuor touched on the highs and lows of his government's performance over the last four years including corruption.

Dr Glover told the press that on the issue of corruption, it could be tackled from various fronts including the provision of "decent salaries" to workers.

Mr Dan Lartey, Leader of the Great Consolidated People's Party, expressed dissatisfaction over the state of joblessness among many Ghanaians, saying this was one reason for corruption. On some areas of the economy, he said the President's Special Initiative on Cassava was laudable, however, it should have been launched on a larger scale rather than on pilot basis to create bigger export earnings.

Mr Alfred Fawundu, the UNDP Resident Co-ordinator described the President's address as comprehensive.

He commended President Kufuor for his show of concern to the tsunami victims and said Ghanaians should take a cue from the disaster and to establish structures that would come in handy in the event of a similar disaster.

On governance, Mr Fawundu said Ghanaians were blessed to have so much peace, however, there was the need to reinforce political institutions that would regulate the political climate and contribute to the democratic process.

Earlier, before the Speaker Mr Peter Ala Adjetey walked in at 0945 hours to open the 30th sitting of the Third Parliament, the public gallery began filling with people from all walks of life including Members of the Council of State, religious leaders and Service Commanders.

Dignitaries, who attended the ceremony, included the Chief Imam, Sheik Nuhu Sharabutu, the Agogohene, Nana Akuokuo Sarpong and His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson of the Catholic Church. Conspicuously missing were the three Presidential Candidates who contested Election 2004.

When the Speaker finally walked in, there were shouts of: "Where is your hat?" from both sides of the House in apparent reference to the full regalia and a matching hat, which the Speaker is known to wear on such grand occasions.

Some MPs, including Mrs Agnes Sonful, NPP-Amenfi West, Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe, NDC-Gomoa West, Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr Gabriel Amoah, NPP-Bosome-Freho, however, rose to the occasion when they turned up attired in rich Kente to add colour to the occasion.

The Speaker welcomed members back from the short Xmas break before seeking permission from the House to go and usher in the President at 1000 hours to deliver his address in accordance with the provision of the Constitution. 04 Jan. 05

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