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18.08.2005 General News

Cttee set up to present views on Whistle Blowers Bill to Parliament


Accra, Aug. 18, GNA - A panel of experts from civil society, media, private sector, academia, government and other stakeholders on Thursday set up a committee to present its views on the Whistle Blowers Bill to Parliament when it reconvenes.

The Committee is made up of a representative each from Serious Fraud Office, Centre for Democratic Development, Centre for Public Information Law, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

It was set up after a discussion organized by GII and CHRAJ, which looked at the Bill and made various suggestions with the view to improving it and making it a good law.

The Whistle Blowers' Bill seeks to provide the manner in which individuals may in public interest disclose information that relates to unlawful, corrupt or other illegal or improper conduct or practices. The panel looked at the various aspects of the Bill including protection, compensation, management of compensation fund, submission of report to Attorney - General and disclosure of impropriety among other issues. It made inputs and suggested the removal of some of clauses in the Bill.

Mr Chris Dadzie, Director of CHRAJ, was the moderator of the discussion in which the panellist suggested that 20 per cent of all monies recovered from information should be retained in a Whistle Blowers Compensation Fund.

He said Parliament should also state a specific amount from the Consolidated Fund that would be used in the Whistle Blowers Compensation Fund.

Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner CHRAJ, said it was expected that through the discussion a platform would be provided for stakeholders in the fight against corruption to analyse, critique and collate suggestions on the Bill with the view to improving it. He said discussions on the People's Representation Bill seemed to have overshadowed those of the Whistle Blowers' Bill though views were solicited for both of them.

He said the Bill when passed would ensure that persons who made the disclosures were not victimised or harassed and would assist in the reduction of corruption.