Corporate Affairs Manager of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mr Michael Boadi has described the delay in the passage of the bill on assets verification of public officers as a deficit in the laws of Ghana and the fight against corruption.

Citing a portion of the constitution to buttress his point, Mr Boadi said “a person who holds a public office per the constitution is required to submit to the Auditor General a written declaration of all property or assets or liabilities owned by him whether directly or indirectly within three months after the coming into force of this Constitution or before taking office, as the case may be.”

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He said the law requires public officers to declare their assets but because there is no verification of these assets by the Auditor General, it does not solidify the law.

Speaking on Corruption Watch, a segment on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show, Mr Boadi said the Auditor General is not able to verify the assets declared by public officers because the law does not explicitly say so.

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“A bill on the conduct of public office holders which will allow for verification of assets has not been returned to parliament since the previous parliament’s tenure expired,” he added.

Mr Boadi said “unless there is a case in which the documents need to be used as evidence in a competent court of law, the assets and liabilities when submitted to the Auditor General are not given a second look neither are the contents verified.”

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Article 286, which is dedicated to Declaration of Assets and Liabilities, provides in Clause (I) that “in Ghana, the Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act 1998 (Act 550) is the governing legislation for Asset Declaration. Parliament enacted this pursuant to the provisions of Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.”

Source: | Gertrude Otchere