Ghana participated in anti-corruption summit held by the British prime minister, this participation is coming at a time when the country is pushing its national anti-corruption agenda as contained in the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (2015-2024) and the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II) as well as commitment under the UN convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and other international and regional conventions on corruption
At the end of the summit, Ghana came out with eleven (11) points which it intends to use in the fighting corruption in the extractive sector namely ;
Ghana is committed to preventing the misuse of companies and legal arrangements to hide the proceeds of corruption and commits to by strengthening further the Companies Bill and Petroleum Bill to ensure public beneficial ownership information is available for all sectors and providing accurate and timely company beneficial ownership information to the public
Ghana is strengthening measures to combat money laundering and countering financing of terrorism, corruption and other predicate offences. Ghana commits to implementing the National Risk Assessment Report of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)’s recommendations as soon as the implementation plan is validated
Ghana is committed to exploring further options for improving transparency in the area of public contracting. In particular, Ghana will: Enact a legislative instrument for the effective implementation of the new Public Procurement Act; Work towards making government public procurement ‘open by default’ and making public list of blacklisted companies and suppliers.
Ghana, welcomes the invitation to partner major trading hubs to explore the scope for a common global reporting framework for oil sales transparency and working in partnership with key producing countries. Ghana will participate in the inaugural summit meeting on oil sales transparency and the EITI trading transparency working meeting
Ghana is strengthening the necessary legislative measures to enhance the capacity of the public/citizens and encourage them to report corruption without fear and commits to Enact the Witness Protection Bill before Parliament, improve and extend the Citizens complaints Center to other regions and enter in to agreement for relocating of witnesses and reporting persons as a means of protection of such persons as well as granting asylum to corruption defenders
Ghana, as part of global community, commits to strengthen further its asset recovery capability and explore the possibility of expanding the scope of its non-conviction based forfeiture legislation as well as adopt measures to manage the administration of seized property.
An important aspect of asset recovery is the payment of compensation to victim states as part of court settlement of process. Ghana welcomes the commitment to the summit to work together to develop common principles governing the payment of compensation to countries affected.
Ghana commits to work with international sport bodies to build a strong partnership to support their effort to deliver, reform, and to underpin the wider fight to eliminate corruption in sport.
Ghana has signed unto the Addis Tax Initiative as well as the common Reporting Standard initiative and commits to strengthen partnerships with other countries to lift bank secrecy, curb tax avoidance by companies registered in offshore tax havens.
Ghana welcomes partnerships that will enable anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) and other institutions in the public sector to learn and exchange information. On that score, Ghana welcomes the establishment of the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre in Botswana.
Ghana is committed to enhancing transparency, the ability of citizens to report corruption and the use of innovative means to fight corruption. Ghana will therefore:
Play an active role in the Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub with a view of improving information management to combat corruption; and Consider taking part in the People Powered Anti-Corruption Programme.
The fight against corruption can succeed if countries cooperate effectively to tackle it. We reiterate Ghana’s commitment to fight corruption. Ghana therefore endorses the high level goals of the Summit as they generally align to the country’s own strategy to combat corruption.
By David Aduhene Tanoh www.reportingoilandgas.org