March 2, 2024

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has called on civil society organisations and the general public to demand from the government a passage of the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2022, to amend and help strengthen the current public officers’ asset declaration regime.

The Bill, it said, when passed into law would prevent the issue of public officers having “unexplained wealth” with the laws of the country seemingly “impotent in dealing with it.’

In a statement, OccupyGhana said the current Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550) which allowed public officers to extend the period of asset declaration by six months was a flagrant violation of Article 286(1) of the 1992 Constitution.

“The effect of this grave unconstitutionality is that once public officers get appointed without declaring assets and liabilities ‘before taking office’ as the Constitution demands, they, for the most part, either do not declare at all or may engage in shenanigans such as ‘presumptive’ declarations of non-existent assets in the hope of being able to acquire them,” the statement said.

OccupyGhana said since 2020 that the then Attorney-General took steps to initiate the new law, the bill has hit s road block with cabinet allegedly refuting to give the green light for the bill to be sent to Parliament for passage into law.

“We therefore invite Ghanaians, fellow Civil Society Organisations and the media, to join us in this campaign to ensure that Cabinet approves the Bill and forwards it to Parliament, and that Parliament passes the Bill into law, all at the earliest times possible,’ the statement added.

 

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