Professor Edward Dua Agyeman, former Auditor General has said that the current laws compelling public office holders to declare their assets upon the assumption of office is not effective and need to be amended.
The Constitution mandates public officials to fill a form disclosing their assets upon the assumption of office. The document is, however, sealed until a time that it is needed.
Professor Agyeman said successive governments lack the political will to amend the Assets Declaration Act because of their parochial interest thus making the current regime powerless.
“There’s lack of political will and commitment by the government and parliament to amend the law to avert the weaknesses, successive governments seem to be happy with the current law,’’ he said.
According to him, the act only demands that public office holders declare their assets upon the assumption of office and not bind their spouses or children and so most public servants amass wealth under the names of their spouses and children.
“Under the PNDC regime, there was a law that compelled public office holders to declare their assets and that of their spouses and within 30days it was published in the Gazette by the auditor general but for some reason Parliament then rose seriously against it, their reason was that declaring their assets exposed them to robbery attacks,” he explained.
Prof. Agyeman was speaking at a roundtable discussion, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Tuesday, 15 August on the theme: “Fighting Corruption in the Public Sector of Ghana: The Role of assets declaration”.