ICT can fight Corruption in Ghana's Public Service
By Kassim Alabani, B.A (Tamale), M.Sc (Cape Coast)
The development if ICT is a singular most important innovation that has come to revolutionalise our daily lives, change our cultures and ways of doing things. It affects every aspect of human endeavors and holds the key to the development and improvements we cherish. There is a substantial evidence to show that ICTs offer excellent opportunities for the creation and adoption of new products and new ways of doing things. In some countries especially in the developed ones ICT has been used to improve not only public service delivery but also in eliminating corruption and lessoning the cost of doing business. In today's world, technical and managerial competence is very much tied to the utilization of ICT.
The used of ICTs can shapely reduce corruption and the cost of public service delivery. Every day in and day out, we have people travelling from far and near communities to Accra to seek for some public service. In the Ghana Education Service for instance, district IPPD coordinators constantly travels to Accra to submit inputs of workers to the Controller and Accountants General Department. Such inputs can be submitted electronically without incurring half the cost that they currently incur. In most instances, some of these officers have to pay some bribes to get attention. When they return to their districts they also demands bribes from the personnel they serve. This process creates a chain of bribery. Simple things that can be done with just an email will have to be done by travelling on risky bad roads. In Ghana an email means nothing to most public officers. They either don't have it or they cannot remember their passwords. So we can find email addresses in neglected websites of state institutions but you dare not use it, because nobody checks it.
The fact is that Ghana's public service is deteriorating with increasing corruption and stagnation. The recent finger pointing at the Tema Port and Supreme Court rulings on the payment of illegal Judgment debts are cases in point.
In fact, there are huge unreported wrong doing, bribery and corruption that have become typical of our local government institutions and many other public institutions. Today the most terrible 'armed' robbers are not those with the guns and machetes but those in coat and tie. Their 'arms' are their positions in government and or public service. Such people are hell-bent in getting political appointments only to gyp and diddle from the national coffers. Thank God ICT is with us. We can flash such people out just by the using e-governance strategies.
Kassim Alabani, B.A (Tamale), M.Sc (Cape Coast)
P O Box 5 Bisco, Tamale
Tel + 233 207352420