A survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity initiative anti-corruption Consortium, has confirmed that bribery is actually taking place at the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the passport office and the Ghana
The survey, which was to assess citizen’s understanding of corruption, their perceptions and actual experiences of corruption, show that Ghanaians still perceive the police, political parties and the judiciary as being corrupt.
It however revealed that Ghanaians do not regard the payment of what is commonly called facilitation fee as a form of corruption.
Nearly two thirds of the close to eighteen thousand respondents in the survey believes corruption is on the rise in Ghana. The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said corruption levels in Ghana are at a point where US companies looking to do business in Ghana, have mostly been frustrated with requests for the payment of “facilitation fee” – which he simply described as another language for bribe.
Speaking with the media after launching the GII Consortium survey report, the US Ambassador said “we are looking at a government official that is demanding an action or a fee for doing the job that he or she is supposed to do. Secondly, we want to identify those institutions are actually taking bribes. Even now, people perceive that the Ghana Police Service for example is corrupt; in fact, the DVLA, passport office, and the Ghana Revenue Authority are more corrupt in terms of actually taking bribe.
My purpose in highlighting them is no to point fingers. My purpose in doing that is to make people aware, that individuals in those institutions have been profiting illegally, and we need to make people think before they pay fees for the services they are already paying for.”
The US Ambassador said Ghana has lost lots of business opportunities to acts of bribery and corruption.
“Corruption inhibits free enterprise and slows economic growth, and it is compromising the quality of much needed services that safeguards health, creates opportunity and save lives. I often hear stories of struggling families having to pay bribe for basic services.
Regional monitors report that a typical agricultural exporter in Ghana faces more than forty check points between Accra and the border with Burkina Faso. Check points that add up to 100 dollars or more in what is called facilitation fees. What are facilitation fees? That’s a very diplomatic word. We are talking about bribes; absolute bribes,” he said. “There have been specific complains about lack of transparency in tenders.