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General News Tue, 18 Mar 2008

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Govt working on private sector anti-corruption policy

Accra, March 18, GNA - Government on Tuesday urged corporate institutions to partner it to develop a private sector anti-corruption policy that will protect the integrity of operators within the sector and also bridge the gap in the country's anti-corruption legislation. Mr Joe Ghartey, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who made the call, said a gap analysis of the country's anti-corruption laws vis-=E0-vis the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption had shown a short fall in respect of laws that dealt with corruption in the private sector.

"These international conventions that Ghana is a party to demand that we enact laws that robustly confront private sector corruption," Mr Ghartey said, citing Article 12 of the UN Convention which required each state to take measures to prevent corruption in the private sector. While lauding the effort of the business community in developing various codes of conduct to protect their integrity, Mr Ghartey said it was important that such codes were done by enforceable law and self-regulatory codes.

"I invite you to join us to develop a private sector anti-corruption policy. This policy will not only look at the laws but also at the regulatory institutions, such as the Registrar-General's Department," he said.

On the review of the company's code under the Business Law Reform Programme, which started in 2002, Mr. Ghartey said a Business Law Reform Commission had been established and would be inaugurated next week to look at and fine-tune the Bill by holding stakeholders' consultations. He called on Ghanaians to support the Commission to enable it to complete the task within six months.

Also of concern are laws on bankruptcy, which the Attorney-General said were inadequate to deal with the challenges of modern business. It is in this direction that the Ghana Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors has commenced the process of redrafting the bankruptcy laws and in the process would merge the provisions on private liquidation and public liquidation into one law. Mr Ghartey assured the business community of a continuous dialogue between it and the Ministry to create a favourable environment for the private sector to thrive.

Mr Wilson Atta Krofah, President of Private Enterprise Foundation, said it was important that any reforms embarked on met the demands of the global economy and were consistent with market-based systems in operation now.

He called for quick and fair commercial dispute resolution, saying that early and fair judgment did not only build confidence in the system but also helped to reduce cost of doing business, which was of major concern to private sector operators. Other areas that must be looked into are the establishment of clear guidelines on property rights, competition and fair trade bills and consumer protection law.

Mr Felix Addo, Partner, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said it was necessary to amend the companies code in line with development in the global economy since the face of business had changed when the code came into being over 50 years ago.

Accra, March 18, GNA - Government on Tuesday urged corporate institutions to partner it to develop a private sector anti-corruption policy that will protect the integrity of operators within the sector and also bridge the gap in the country's anti-corruption legislation. Mr Joe Ghartey, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who made the call, said a gap analysis of the country's anti-corruption laws vis-=E0-vis the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption had shown a short fall in respect of laws that dealt with corruption in the private sector.

"These international conventions that Ghana is a party to demand that we enact laws that robustly confront private sector corruption," Mr Ghartey said, citing Article 12 of the UN Convention which required each state to take measures to prevent corruption in the private sector. While lauding the effort of the business community in developing various codes of conduct to protect their integrity, Mr Ghartey said it was important that such codes were done by enforceable law and self-regulatory codes.

"I invite you to join us to develop a private sector anti-corruption policy. This policy will not only look at the laws but also at the regulatory institutions, such as the Registrar-General's Department," he said.

On the review of the company's code under the Business Law Reform Programme, which started in 2002, Mr. Ghartey said a Business Law Reform Commission had been established and would be inaugurated next week to look at and fine-tune the Bill by holding stakeholders' consultations. He called on Ghanaians to support the Commission to enable it to complete the task within six months.

Also of concern are laws on bankruptcy, which the Attorney-General said were inadequate to deal with the challenges of modern business. It is in this direction that the Ghana Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors has commenced the process of redrafting the bankruptcy laws and in the process would merge the provisions on private liquidation and public liquidation into one law. Mr Ghartey assured the business community of a continuous dialogue between it and the Ministry to create a favourable environment for the private sector to thrive.

Mr Wilson Atta Krofah, President of Private Enterprise Foundation, said it was important that any reforms embarked on met the demands of the global economy and were consistent with market-based systems in operation now.

He called for quick and fair commercial dispute resolution, saying that early and fair judgment did not only build confidence in the system but also helped to reduce cost of doing business, which was of major concern to private sector operators. Other areas that must be looked into are the establishment of clear guidelines on property rights, competition and fair trade bills and consumer protection law.

Mr Felix Addo, Partner, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said it was necessary to amend the companies code in line with development in the global economy since the face of business had changed when the code came into being over 50 years ago.

Source: GNA

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