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General News Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Gov't unimpressed with new corruption ratings

Deputy Minister of Information, Frank Agyakum, says the new corruption perception index does not represent government’s efforts in fighting corruption in the country.

Ghana is perceived as less corrupt according to transparency International perception index, which ranked Ghana 67th from a total of 187 with a mark of 3.9 %.

Even though the index represents an improvement from last year’s 3.7, the deputy minister says “government has done more than the figures represent.”

“We have put in place a lot of measures which should put us even higher, and if they look much deeper, they will see that government has done a lot more in terms of fighting corruption than the indicators have given us,” he added.

He however indicated that the improvement though negligible, is a vindication of government stance of using anti-corruption laws.

In an interview with Joy News, Mr. Agyakum dismissed the assertion that the laws were not working; “I fail to understand how anybody can tell me the laws are not working. The procurement law as well as all the other anti-corruption laws are working, “he emphasised.

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He said government has provided congenial environment for the laws to work and advised the citizens to make use of it.

On why the freedom of Information Bill is yet to be enacted into law, Mr. Frank Agyakum said all the necessary background work has to be done first to make the law functional.

According to him the record keeping procedures in the country must be improved first before the enactment of the law.

“We still use paper files and pile them on our shelves in our offices. When the law is passed there is a time limit within which government as the implementing agency has to provide the information, unless we improve on the way we store and retrieve information passing the law will be difficult,” he said.

According to him a committee headed by Justice Crabbe has been instituted to solve these fundamental problems associated with freedom of Information Bill to ensure passage and its effective implementation.

Source: Nathan Gadugah/JoyOnline
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