July 13, 2024
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Conduct of Public Officers Bill will be passed into law under this Parliament – Deputy Attorney General

A Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, has given the assurance that the Conduct of Public Officers Bill would be enacted into law under the tenure of the current Parliament.

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe, the Deputy Attorney General described the Bill as a “sunshine Bill” due to its purpose of shedding light on corruption, ensuring that those engaged in corrupt practices are brought to justice.

He explained that all the necessary stakeholder engagements had been completed, and the bill is still being deliberated upon by the Executive to ensure that all defects are identified and rectified before it is presented to Parliament.

“As we speak, it is at the Ministry of Finance because we have to do some financial impact analysis on that particular bill. When that is finished it will get back to Cabinet and if the Cabinet okays it, it will go to Parliament.

“But I am giving you the assurance that that bill will be passed into law in the lifetime of this particular Parliament,” he told Elton Brobbey on Sunday.

Mr Tuah-Yeboah further pointed out that the current Asset Declaration Law allows public officers to declare their assets and liabilities without a mechanism for verification.

This practice, according to him, is going to change under the new bill which will empower the Auditor General to verify the assets and liabilities declared by public officers adding that “asset declarations will no longer be sealed documents but open to verification.”

“For example, a corrupt person can easily say, per the current arrangement that ‘I have one house in Sunyani’, and indicate it in the form ‘one house’. Now the number of rooms has not been indicated nor how the building is structured. So if during the person’s term, the person generates money through corrupt means, he or she can remold the house into and modern edifice, then when asked, he will say he declared that property. So this is a defect in the current Law.

“However, when the Conduct of Public Officers Bill is passed, the Auditor General will be given the mandate to send some officers to the location to go and verify and know the nature of the house. So in an incident where through corrupt means the person pulls down the building, the AG will know,” he explained.

He stressed that this transformative feature in the proposed bill is poised to significantly enhance transparency and accountability within the public sector, setting the stage for a more robust and effective approach to combating corruption.

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