General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Although the laws of Ghana require that all public servants, including Article 71 office holders, declare their assets before commencing work, the manner in which it is done in Ghana is not the best, Dr Edward Dua Agyeman, a former Auditor General, has said.
According to him, Ghana’s procedure for the declaration does not meet best practices across the world and defeats the purpose for its introduction.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Monday January 23, Dr Agyeman said: “The asset declaration does not cover only Article 71 office holders, it covers both Article 71 office holders, public officers and anybody working for the government.
“The law says before you start working, whether you are a president or a minister or Auditor General, you need to go for the asset declaration form from the Auditor General’s Department, fill it, seal it, and return to the Auditor General’s Department. When you quit the job you must also do same. But the point is, the asset declaration procedure in Ghana is not the best at all, it does not meet the purpose of its creation. The asset declaration was introduced to fight corruption but how it is done in Ghana is not achieving that purpose.
“In other countries, when you fill your asset declaration form, you don’t seal it. The Auditor General has the power to open it, even if it has been sealed, read it, publish it in the national dailies for the general public to know what you have before assuming work. This procedure gives the pubic the opportunity to make inputs regarding claims on the forms.
“All these are done to ensure the truth is out there but here in Ghana the form is not seen by anybody apart from the person who filled it. Nobody has the authority to open and read it and to know the actual content unless the courts grant that permission. I must emphasise that how we do our asset declaration in Ghana is not the best at all.”