Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has called for concerted effort to plug loopholes in the country’s anti-corruption laws.
Mary Awelana Addah spoke of the need for a stronger advocacy campaign to expand the definition of corruption in the new anti-corruption legislation to make it difficult for people to get away with corrupt practices.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day zonal training workshop on anti-corruption legislation in Kumasi, Ms Addah said it is time rigorous laws were passed and strictly enforced to ensure that corruption became a high-risk activity with low returns in Ghana.
The workshop was organized under the USAID Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening Project (ADISS), implemented by GII, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and SEND-Ghana in 50 districts across the nation.
ADISS, which was started in year 2014, and expected to end in 2018, aims at increasing advocacy by civil society for legislative changes to promote accountability.
Additionally, it seeks to increase documentation and exposure of corruption through civil society reporting mechanisms.
Ms Addah said GII had identified a number of gaps in various anti-corruption legislations and was working with relevant stakeholders to get these gaps sealed.
Other corrupt acts and emerging corrupt practices which were hitherto, not captured in the existing laws, had been identified for incorporation into the new bill, under preparation, she added.
She said it was important to strengthen legislation to deal with corruption at all levels of the society to reduce the menace and its negative impact on development.
Mr. Jacob Ahuno, a facilitator, said one strategies of the ADISS project was to work with citizen groups or local civil society organizations, known as Local Accountability Networks (LaNets), Social Auditing Clubs (SAC) and District Citizens Monitoring Committees (DCMCs), to achieve the intended outcomes.
He said members of citizen groups had undergone intensive training programmes on socio-cultural and economic practices that bred corruption, citizens’ mandate of key anti-corruption institutions and reporting as well as effective parliamentary lobbying for legislative reforms and the use of ICT for reporting corruption.