The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has disclosed that his outfit will institute an Annual Ghana Corruption League Table to evaluate levels of public sector corruption in the country from January 2022.
According to him, his office would require all public institutions, departments, agencies, and companies to prepare and submit Integrity Plans which will help assess deficiencies in their regulations, procedures and internal control mechanisms.
Mr Agyebeng explained that this will help determine their vulnerability and exposure to corrupt practices and better manage their “susceptibility” to corruption and corruption-related offences. He also intimated that he will set up an internal control mechanism to prevent corruption at the OSP itself.
“From January 2022 the OSP will institute, as part of its pressure-for-progress drive, an Annual Ghana Corruption League Table to assess perceived levels of public sector corruption in the estimation of experts and business people. In aid of this, public agencies would be ranked against each other on a corruption barometer and the results would be publicised every 9 December”.Mr Kissi Agyebeng
The Special Prosecutor emphasized that an anti-corruption risk assessment and review will be conducted on all major public contracts, legislation and draft legislation. This, he noted, is to help rid the system of “toxic deals”, prevalence of judgment debts and “arbitral” awards.
Dealing with corruption in the country
Speaking at a news conference today, December 9, 2021 in commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day, Mr Agyebeng indicated that Ghana is taking steps in its quest to “suppress and repress” corruption. He revealed that the amendment of the Criminal Offences Act under the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1034), which has upgraded corruption and corruption-related offences from misdemeanours to second degree felonies is indicative of the OSP’s desire to “stem the tide” of such offences through its stiffer sentencing.
Mr Agyebeng lauded the achievements of his office in its ability to “cure” the inadequacies of existing anti-corruption agencies, describing it as a vital institution for economic development. He noted that his outfit is designed as a comprehensive “anti-graft agency” with among others, investigative, prosecutorial and revenue generating powers.
Following this, the Special Prosecutor revealed that he has completed a review of all alleged cases of corruption and corruption-related offences. Currently, he indicated that the OSP is investigating “thirty-one active cases” and will in due course commence the prosecution in the courts of the cases it considers “probatively” strong.
“There is no case commenced by the OSP pending in the courts at the moment”.Mr Kissi Agyebeng
In his efforts to combat corruption, Mr Agyebeng intimated that he has invited the participation and collaboration of anti-corruption civil society, the media and other key stakeholders to support the work and operations of the OSP.
The Office, Mr Agyebeng expressed, would also undertake continuous education and information of the public and the publicising of detected acts of corruption. As such, the OSP would vigorously investigate and prosecute cases of alleged or suspected corruption and recover proceeds from such offences.