Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South Constituency, has remarked that Parliament’s inability to maintain the necessary vigilance over the Executive is due to the country’s extreme partisanship.
This, he claims, has made it harder for the Legislature to safeguard the public purse.
The NDC lawmaker made these remarks in response to a question about the US Human Rights Ghana Report 2021, which blamed Parliament and other institutions, among other things, for the country’s rising levels of corruption.
“As an institution, we are not performing well enough, and Parliament is mired in partisanship.” To preserve the public purse, we are properly carrying out our mandate. Why isn’t Parliament interested in investigating COVID spending? Who is the loser? Who benefits? Ghana’s citizenry are to blame. Any investigation can only help to increase probity, transparency, and accountability.
“What do you expect of Parliament if it can’t even investigate a topic like COVID, when donors are concerned about the sensible and optimal use of money they spent to tackle this public health pandemic?” he asked.
Other mistakes on the part of Parliament, according to the member, include the delay in contract approval and the lack of rigor and rigorous measures to verify value for money. This, he claims, contributes to the country’s failure to combat the corruption threat.
In its 2021 Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the US Department of State noted that corruption remains a problem in Ghana.
“Officials routinely engaged in corrupt practices with impunity,” according to the study.
It further stated that, despite the fact that laws specify consequences for corrupt officials, the government rarely carries them out.
Parts of the research stated that “corruption was present in all departments of government, according to media and NGOs, including recruitment into the security forces.”
The US State Department stated that bribery is endemic in the country’s public sector, citing the Auditor General’s June Report.
Huge quantities of public funds have been lost as a result of this.
“The Honorary Consul General and the Ghanaian consulate in Washington, D.C. were unable to account for $355,000 in visa costs.” More than $3.16 million was misappropriated by the Free Senior High School Secretariat.
“After leaving office, a former Minister of Tourism kept three official vehicles for personal use.” Corrupt behaviors resulted in $340 million in financial mismanagement, according to the audit, which included “misapplication and misappropriation of funds, theft, and procurement mishandling.”
Despite the fact that governments implement numerous steps to combat the threat, corruption remains a big issue in the country.
To combat corruption, President Akufo-Addo established the Office of the Special Prosecutor in 2018.
However, according to the US State Department, “no corruption case handled by that agency has resulted in a conviction since the first Special Prosecutor entered office in 2018.”
“One investigator and one prosecutor, both seconded from other offices, were on the new special prosecutor’s team when he assumed office in August.”
Meanwhile, according to the report, the 2020 general election will be transparent, free, and fair.
Despite violent incidents at several of the polling stations, the study claims that the outcome, which saw President Akufo-Addo win a second term to govern Ghanaians, was quite genuine.
Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary election results reflected the will of the people, according to a study released on April 12, 2022.