Business News of 2014-06-07

Centre to promote public sector accountability launched

A centre that will conduct thorough research and promote public sector accountability has been launched in Accra.

The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), a creation of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), is aimed at providing quality training and consultancy support to promote public sector accountability in Ghana and Africa.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor of the UPSA, Professor Joshua Alabi, said the centre would position the institution as a leading university in public accountability and transparency and also provide the necessary literature and curriculum needed to enhance the capacity of public officials in Ghana and Africa.

More think tanks

The Founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Charles Mensa, explained that it was the duty of the centre to assess government policies and decisions in an attempt to educate the public.

He also mentioned the need for more think tanks in Ghana to evaluate government programmes to ensure public accountability and transparency.

Public accountability

In his address, the Director of the centre, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, stated that the centre was a non-partisan institution committed to ensuring public transparency and accountability in Ghana.

He mentioned that accountability was one of the weakest elements of governance in Ghana and Africa, adding that the situation had led to a high level of corruption in the public sector and low prosecution of corruption cases.

“The CPA seeks to highlight and promote this concept of accountability in public sector management. We want to conduct cutting-edge research into the concept of public sector accountability,” he said.

Training and monitoring

According to Mr Dapaah, the centre intends to build the capacity of public sector workers and lawmakers through training programmes, saying that “we want to offer consultancy support to key accountability institutions, including the Public Accounts Committee”.

While emphasising the need to seal loopholes in the administration of public funds, Mr Dapaah stated that it was not the ambition of the centre to “catch thieves” but rather develop policy recommendations to seal loopholes in the administration of public funds.

As part of their objectives, Mr Dapaah said the centre would maintain an accurate and reliable database on public transactions such as public debt, petroleum revenue and expenditure and donor funds.

The centre would monitor and track the implementation of audit findings and provide policy options for an effective sanction regime, he revealed.

He was, however optimistic that the highly qualified and skilled staff of the university would provide the necessary leadership to enable the centre to achieve its objectives.

In his closing remarks, Council Chairman of the UPSA, Mr Justice Nii Aryeetey, announced that the inauguration of the centre was the first of three other centres of excellence to be inaugurated by the university this year, and advised public officials to take advantage of the resources of the centre.

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