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05.02.2006 General News

Bring Cases To Us — Accountability

By Graphic

The Chairman of the Office of Accountability in the Office of the President, Professor K. K. Oduro, has challenged the general public and the media to test the credibility of the office by providing them with information that could lead to the exposure of corrupt government appointees.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, Professor Oduro said the country could not afford the luxury of corrupt practices perpetrated by some government officials while majority of the people, especially those in the rural areas, wallow in poverty.

He, therefore, called for active support and co-operation from the media and the general public to help keep government appointees on a “narrow path''.

The chairman said because the President shared the concerns of the public on corruption that was why he established the Office of Accountability to keep himself and his ministers on their toes in order to exact more accountability from them.

He disclosed that the office had received a number of complaints bordering on corruption last year, out of which 13 had been dealt with.

Professor Oduro said the complaints included those levelled against Ministers of State some of whom were cabinet ministers.

He said the office also investigated cases of conflict of interest, the issue of ghost names, as well as deals in the construction business.

Professor Oduro said the office also dealt with the case of the importation of trisilicate into the country while a local company which had the capability was sidelined.

He added that the way these complaints were handled enabled the state to save foreign exchange by producing the trisilicate locally.

He pointed out that the mandate of the office was wide and that it was not meant to send people to jail only for corruption but also to remind government appointees of governance standards laid down for them.

He emphasised that the office served as a preventive mechanism for checking acts likely to lead to corrupt practices among political appointees.

He said it was a watchdog agency for the close monitoring of ministers, chief executives of assemblies and other executive appointees, with the sole aim of preventing malfeasance in the conduct of government business.

Professor Oduro said the office expected public officials to adhere to procurement regulations and procedures as well as transparency in the execution of projects.

He said other areas included correct budgetary applications and compliance with tender procedures under the procurement law.

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