General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has developed a client services charter in a bid to make the organisation friendly and open it to the public.
As part of processes to finalise the charter, EOCO yesterday organised a workshop for its stakeholders to validate the draft charter.
Participants at the workshop included regional directors of office, heads of its various units, representatives from the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, the Judicial Service, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the Executive Director of EOCO, ACP K. K. Amoah (retd), said “people see EOCO as an institution that is shrouded in secrecy.
They think we do not open up”.
The essence of the client services charter, he said, was to make the work of EOCO more transparent to the public.
He said the charter, which is being developed in conformity with the mandate and in line with the service principles of the office, would help provide information on the services and expected standards to facilitate expedient transaction of business with EOCO’s clients.
Giving an overview of the charter, a Field Desk Officer, Ms Martha Oppong, said the charter was also to serve as a practical guide to clients of EOCO and stakeholders on the service delivery processes of the organisation and to publicly demonstrate its commitment to discharge its responsibilities and functions with integrity, while upholding confidentiality in its work.
Clients of EOCO included suspects, witnesses, sureties, counsel, informants, whistleblowers and petitioners, she said, while the major stakeholders were the Attorney-General’s Office, the Legislature and the Judiciary, the citizenry, the business community, the media and other state agencies.
Ms oppong emphasised that EOCO’s services were free, stating that “we do not charge anyone for the services we render because all our activities are funded by the government”.
A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, said EOCO “has to make itself known to the public.
It has become a place where people do not want to come to.
People think this place is a no-go area”.
In his remarks, the Chief Director of the A-G’s office, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, said people dreaded going to EOCO, adding: “Sometimes I believe the posturing of even the staff creates that impression.”
He urged EOCO to set up a client services centre and review the charter document periodically to enrich it.