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General News Sun, 12 Jun 2005

Minister says government is committed to fighting corruption

Accra, June 12, GNA - Mr Ayikoi Otoo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has said the government would not relent in its fight against corruption and had endeavoured to provide resources for organs mandated to fight the cancer. He said to ensure the effectiveness of constitutional and statutory bodies mandated to check corruption such as the CHRAJ and the Serious Fraud Office the government had provided them with resources to facilitate their work.

Mr Otoo was addressing a four-day ''IV Global Forum on Fighting Corruption'' held in Brasilia, Brazil from June 07 to 10. The government of Brazil hosted the conference in conjunction with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and it was on the theme ''From Words to Deeds.'' Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opened the conference.

Mr Otoo said in fighting corruption, the government would not be complacent but would relentlessly sustain its efforts in promoting good governance, democracy, the rule of law, social justice, freedom of information and transparency. ''These are necessary conditions for winning the struggle against corruption in Ghana.'' He told the delegates that the government's commitment to fighting corruption is demonstrated by its repeal of the Criminal Libel Law. It has initiated the Freedom of Information Bill and The Whistle Blowers Act to offer journalists and the public the freedom to exercise their constitutional duty to uphold the responsibility and accountability of government.

The government has established an Office of Accountability in the Office of the President, has passed the Public Procurement Act, the Financial Administration Act and the Internal Audit Agency Board Act. ''Ghana=B4s ratification of the ECOWAS Protocol on the Fight Against Corruption and the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance demonstrates the NPP government's commitment to running a clean and transparent government,'' Mr Otoo said. He told the Forum that Ghana had taken note of the Brasilia Final Declaration and would do whatever is necessary to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption that now requires four more ratifications to come into force. Ghana's delegates at the forum were Mr Yaw Adjei, Ambassador in Brazil and Mr Ebenezer Appreku, Minister-Counsellor of the Ghana Embassy in Brazil.

Source: GNA