Accra, Feb. 2, GNA - Professor Kwabena Konadu Oduro, Chairman of the Office of Accountability, on Thursday defended the establishment of the Office, saying it was not a duplication of efforts of anti-corruption agencies.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Prof. Oduro said the Office was unique and distinct from other governance institutions and agencies established under the 1992 Constitution.
He described the Office as an in-house mechanism aimed at preventing bribery, extortion and corruption from occurring in the first place.
"The Office of Accountability serves as a preventive mechanism for checking acts likely to lead to corruptible practices among political appointees," Prof. Oduro said.
"The main object of the Office is, therefore, prevention and this makes it rather different from traditional and more orthodox institutions, which generally are for detecting, proving and punishing culprits for what has already been done."
President John Agyekum Kufuor established the Office in July 2003 to be effective in-house self-correcting machinery among Government officials.
On the question of its mandate, Prof. Oduro said it was derived from the Executive Authority of the President and premised on a code of conduct, which should guide the performance of all political appointees to ensure accountable stewardship, honest and transparent service delivery and avoidance of any practice that could be perceived as corrupt.
He said the Office since its establishment had acted on a number of alleged impropriety by various appointees, adding that reports on such investigations were submitted to the President and it was for him to decide how to proceed or which course of action to take. Prof. Oduro said it was not part of their modus operandi to make public pronouncements on cases, which had already been investigated or were currently under investigation, saying there would not be any change in that direction in the future.
He called on the media and the public to offer their support to the Office in the discharge of its work, especially by supplying information that would help to achieve the national objective of good governance. The Office, he said, would bear all the cost of any enquiry into allegations provided to it. However, any information given must be relevant and the individual must also be prepared to help to establish the needed facts.