The National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), which was adopted by Parliament in 2014, identifies collaborations among anti-corruption agencies as a key activity that will enable the agencies to conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt practices.
Due to this recommendation, eleven Key Accountable Institutions (KAIs) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate and exchange information to combat corruption and crime in the country.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Wednesday, 18th March, 2020, spearheaded the agreement with financial support from the Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ARAP), an EU sponsored initiative.
The other 10 institutions which signed the MoU were the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Parliament, the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, the Ghana Audit Service and the Ghana Police Service.
The rest were the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), the Internal Audit Agency, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
The signing was witnessed by representatives of civil society organisations, such as the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the Association of Parliamentary Network Against Corruption and some private sector representatives.
The agreement will ensure the exchange of information, promotion of synergy for better coordination of activities, enhancement of the capacity of the KAIs to address challenges of emerging methods of corruption and crime and minimizing the potential for mandate overlaps.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Joseph Whittal said the public had high expectations of KAIs adding that the agreement would make it possible for all the KAIs to bring together their energies to combat crime and corruption.
Mr. Whittal admonished that fighting corruption is everyone’s responsibility and called on the KAIs to collaborate and exchange information to help fight the canker of corruption and crime. He stated that “we now have the Right to Information Act in place, so there is no need to hide information”.
The Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Richard Quayson also stated that an information exchange forum would be established to share information and experiences. He added that the forum would allow periodic public engagements, which would be undertaken every three months.
Mr. Quayson further indicated that there would be protocols developed for case referrals, conduct joint investigations and develop a strategy for collaboration with civil society and private sector organisations.
The Executive Director of EOCO, COP Mr. Frank Adu-Poku (Rtd.) expressed the commitment of his outfit to collaborate with the other partners to ensure successful implementation of the initiative.
The Chief Executive Officer of FIC, Mr. Kwaku Dua also said, “no institution or individual can fight corruption and crime alone. Without joining forces together, no one can fight corruption and win”.
The Acting Executive Secretary of NACOB, Mr. Francis Kofi Torkornoo said the board was happy to be part of such a platform where all key accountability institutions were determined to work together to fight to reduce corruption in the country.
Mr. Ben Abdallah Banda, Member of Parliament for Offinso South, said the collaborative agenda being spear headed by CHRAJ was a laudable idea and should bring all stakeholders on board.
“This will go a long way to fight and also minimize corruption and crime,” he said. He also stated that Parliament is one of the key institutions and is committed to ensure the agenda of the MOU was realised.