The Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr. John Kwakye, has urged the government to consider adopting the US Inspector General (IG) system as a strategic measure to combat corruption more effectively.
In response to the address by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party’s flagbearer, on his vision for Ghana on February 7, Dr. Kwakye emphasized the importance of preventing corruption at its roots.
He suggested that implementing the US Inspector General system would serve as a proactive approach to corruption prevention.
In his article titled “Dr. Bawumia’s Speech: Turning an Impossibility into the Possibility?” Dr. Kwakye proposed that an independent Inspector General, reporting directly to Parliament, should be embedded in every Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assembly (MMDA).
This Inspector General would monitor all financial transactions within the MMDA, significantly reducing the occurrence of corruption.
“In terms of preventing corruption before it occurs, we have suggested that Ghana adopt the US Inspector General (IG) system. The IG, who will be independent and report directly to Parliament, will be embedded in every MMDA and monitor all financial transactions within the MMDA. This will contribute to prevent most corruption from taking place. Since we are poor at prosecuting corruption, it would be best to prevent it from occurring in the first instance.”
Additionally, he called on the government to enhance the capabilities and resources of existing anti-corruption institutions such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
Strengthening these institutions, according to Dr. Kwakye, is crucial for them to fulfill their roles effectively in investigating and prosecuting corruption, serving as a deterrent to potential wrongdoers.
However, he emphasized that addressing corruption must begin with robust measures at the highest levels of government.
“Notwithstanding, I believe the accountable institutions—OSP, EOCO, CHRAJ, NIB—have an important role to play in fighting corruption. I will, therefore, call for them to be strengthened and resourced to carry out their mandate of investigating and prosecuting corruption to serve as a deterrent to potential culprits. But it has to be said that the surest way of fighting corruption is to start from the top.”