09.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

Informants are safe to expose financial and economic malpractices

09.03.2005 LISTEN

Mankranso (Ash), March 09, GNA - Mr Samuel Sarpong, Zonal Head of Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, has assured prospective informants that they are safe to expose all financial and economic malpractices at their workplaces to the office. He said the SFO, aware of the unfair treatment that could be meted out to informants at their workplaces by their bosses and colleagues, deals with informants and any information confidentially.

He was speaking on the existence, functions of the SFO and fraud on the national economy at a day's workshop on "The Relevance of SFO to the Ghana Education Service" at Mankranso in the Ahafo Ano South district on Tuesday.

Over 120 district education staff, heads of basic schools and circuit supervisors, attended the workshop organised by the district directorate of the GES.

Mr Sarpong said the SFO was taking steps, through the Information Disclosure Protective Bill or the Whistle Blower Bill before Parliament, to ensure that there is a legislation to protect informants against victimisation.

He said Section 18 of the SFO Act permits it to prosecute any suspect believed to have committed an offence against the state. Mr Sarpong called for the opening of Serious Fraud offices in the various districts in the country, explaining that the presence of an officer from the SFO in the district will serve as a check on corrupt practices.

Mr William Nutakor, an Investigator at SFO in Kumasi, said there are still ghost names on the pay roll voucher and called on all stakeholders to help minimise the problem.