Anti-corruption campaigner, Dr Valentin Mensah, has called for a time-consistent law to check corruption and corporate governance malfeasance in the private sector.
The Professional Accountant, Auditor and Researcher said one of the effective ways to fight graft in non-public companies is to revise the key law regulating activities in the sector.
“Our laws addressing corruption in the private sector are quite old. If you look at the Company’s Act, which is very important for regulation of the activities of businesses in the private sector, it was enacted in 1963 and it has not benefited from any significant revision since.
“In 2016 we tried to revise it in order to align with Beneficial Ownership, but even that, we know that it was passed but not implemented,” he said Wednesday on Corruption Watch, an anti-corruption discussion segment, on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
Dr Mensah noted that at the time the law was being passed, there had not been many instances of fraud on inventories, therefore the current law does not cover that graft-loophole adequately.
He said the current law regulating the private sector makes it easy for unethical professionals to abuse activities such as preparation of accounts, corporate reporting and the preparation of financial statements.
The anti-graft discussion focused on the progress Ghana is making towards fulfilling its commitments against corruption. On July 11, Ghana joined other African countries to commemorate the African Union Day Against Corruption.
Local activities were under the auspices of many civil society organisations, including the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Chapter of Transparency International (TI).
The AU has set July 11 as African Union Day Against Corruption and has dedicated this year to the fight against corruption in recognition that the impact of corruption on the continent’s economic development is visible and cannot be underestimated.
“Corruption is not a victimless crime and often affects those who suffer most – vulnerable, poor and marginalised individuals,” says Transparency International.
Previously, the AU committed to combating corruption in Africa and ensuring a culture of good governance and rule of law. This commitment is embodied in a number of AU treaties, including:
i. AU Convention to Prevent and Combat Corruption (AUCPCC), adopted in 2003
ii. African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, adopted in 2007
iii. African Charter on the Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration, adopted in 2011
iv. African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development, adopted in 2014.
Beyond these, Ghana – as a member country of the AU – made commitments at the UK Prime Minister’s Summit on Tackling Corruption. At that summit held in May 2016 in London, Ghana made 11 commitments. Since 2012, Ghana has developed a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).
The NACAP (2012–2021) constitutes Ghana’s national framework to drive anti-corruption activities over that 10-year period.This plan is consistent with global trends of developing a blueprint to guide the implementation of anti-corruption strategies to enhance national integrity systems.
Mr Jacob Tetteh Ahuno, Programme Officer, Ghana Integrity Initiative and Rhoda Appiah, Head of Corporate Affairs and Administration, at the Public Procurement Authority featured in the discussions.