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12.04.2019 Business & Finance

PSACG Hands Bawumia Policy Paper On Corruption And Business In Ghana

Staff Writer
PSACG Hands Bawumia Policy Paper On Corruption And Business In Ghana

The Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG), presents a policy report on corruption and business in Ghana to the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the Jubilee house Accra.

This is in recognition of his role as the Chairman of the Economic Management Team of Government.

The report highlighted the key challenges faced by local and multinational companies operating in Ghana, which predisposes them to corruption, how the identified operational bottlenecks affect their businesses, and proposed policy recommendations to tackle these challenges.

The findings were put together with primary data collected from a Safe Space forum, which provided a platform for over 30 CEOs of local and multinational businesses to share their experiences on how corruption adversely affects businesses in Ghana.

Other sources included key informant interviews with officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, and the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana.

PSACG acknowledged the Government of Ghana's efforts to improve the business environment through the implementation of various reform initiatives including anti-corruption measures, public sector reforms, reduction of tax burden on businesses, efficient regulatory regime for businesses, and improvement in macro-economic conditions amongst others.

However, to them, businesses continue to face significant challenges, which they believe emanated from a number of systemic and institutional hindrances resulting in the high cost of doing business in the country.

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PSACG, therefore, took the initiative to contribute to government's efforts by collating the voices of private sector actors on how corruption hurts their operations.

The policy report has been distilled around key themes that reflect the major causes of corruption in doing business including inadequate information on processes and cost of services, multiple regulatory agencies with duplicating and overlapping functions among others.

To help address these challenges, PSACG has proposed practical recommendations and pledged its commitment and support to help the government deal with corruption.

Among the key recommendations proposed are implementing a national digital web monitoring complaints system for reporting service ineptitude and corruption.

In addition, PSACG proposes establishing a clear governance structure at the ports to regulate inter-agency relations and simplify business processes.

At the presentation of the policy report, the leader of the PSACG delegation, Mr. Charles Zwennes said: “There is clear evidence in Ghana that historically, the fight against corruption has not been as effective as is required to achieve the desired effect. We must however applaud the renewed efforts made by the current government to reduce the incidence of the canker for the sake of improving efficiency and economic growth. We recognize however that it is critical for these efforts to be sustained and intensified in order to improve economic growth and the general welfare of the nation at large since corruption is the social ill which affects private sector efforts at nation building. PSACG is committed to working closely with government in the efforts to see its eradication”.

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The Vice President, Dr. Bawumia in receiving the policy report said: “As policy makers, we are concerned about improving the ease of doing business to improve productivity, efficiency and overall create more jobs. We have therefore put in the following measures to enhance the operations of businesses in the country: digitization of the Ports, DVLA, Passport Office, NHIS, Land registry, GRA filing, in which the private sector companies are being engage improved financial inclusion through mobile interoperability with banks and mobile money services the need for businesses to broaden their tax net”.

The PSACG will also hold a stakeholder forum with private sector businesses to further discuss issues on enhancing the business environment.

About Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG)

The Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG) established in 2018, is a project initiated by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)'s Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) program.

PSACG's key mission is to aid engagement with the Government of Ghana, through the Office of the Vice President, in tackling corruption that affects the cost of doing business and enhances investment flows into Ghana.

The UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) with support from the heads of the chambers of commerce comprising Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), European Business Organization (EBO), the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM) leads PSACG.

The challenges and recommendations presented by PSACG are listed below:

Key themes that reflect the major causes of corruption

i. Inadequate information on processes and cost of services

ii.Multiple regulatory agencies with duplicating and overlapping functions

iii.Multiple taxes, fees and charges for duplicated services

iv.Multiple law enforcement agencies performing varied regulatory functions at the ports

v.Lack of or inadequate channels for reporting corruption

vi.Political party funding

Recommendations by PSACG

i. Providing regular updates on the publication of services, timelines for delivery, costs of services on the websites and notice boards of service delivery agencies; as well as adopt mobile apps and other digital applications for effective information dissemination in all service delivery agencies.

ii. Establish a clear governance structure at the ports to regulate inter-agency relations and simplify business processes

iii. Expedite action on the recommendations of the Ports Fees/Charges Committee and establish similar committees to review charges in other sectors

iv. Institute a national inter-sectoral and cross-sectoral review of agencies and their enabling legislations to remove regulatory redundancies and functional overlaps that constrain business growth

v. Ensure effective coordination of all security agencies operating at the ports, monitor activities of security officials at the port on CCTV, and apply swift and hefty sanctions for officers who are found engaging in corrupt activities

vi. Establish a national hotline for reporting corruption, clarify the appeal processes for the resolution of corruption complaints, institute annual mandatory ethics training for all public servants, get Parliament to pass the Code of Conduct for Public Officers' Bill, and mandate CHRAJ to prepare a separate annual report on corruption in administrative agencies for the Presidency.

vii. Explore the feasibility of state funding for political parties including the option to resource the Electoral Commission to conduct internal political party elections, as well as revise campaign-financing rules to reduce cost of elections.

–citinewsroom

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