According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception index for 2017, Ghana ranks 81st with a score of 40, indicating the country has underperformed as compared to the previous year (2016). Although, there is growing acceptance of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) as a mode of gauging the temperature of how experts look at the level of corruption in a country, there still remains a gap in research on citizens’ perception on specific anti-corruption interventions in Ghana.
In this vein, a study was conducted by Penplusbytes with support from the UK-AID funded Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) programme dubbed METOGU! (Keep the Pressure On!!), where ordinary citizens were offered the opportunity to speak out about how they perceive the issue of corruption, discuss the various interventions by government in dealing with corruption, as well as assess the specific sector promises proposed by the current government to fight this menace in the run up to the Ghana 2016 general elections.
A key result of the research shows that 90% of citizens are of the opinion that government is not serious about passing the Right to Information Bill and also, an RTI law is the foundation to bringing about true transparency and accountability in promoting good governance and curbing corruption.
To respond to some of the major findings of the research, Penplusbytes will, on the 3rd of October 2018 at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, hosting a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders which will include some executive members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Government officials, reps from opposition parties, members of parliament, CSOs, academia and the general public.
This roundtable discussion on corruption seeks to facilitate dynamic discussions on policies, strategies and institutional arrangements designed to prevent corruption drawing insights from Penplusbytes’ Metogu research report. (Downloadable here www.penplusbytes.org/metogu
It is also to identify and consolidate lessons learnt for other anti-corruption interventions including the use of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and provide opportunities to build partnerships and find solutions to this canker.
According to the executive director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, “Penplusbytes believes there is always the need to provide a platform for Government to engage with citizens and respond to their feedback on how well they are doing or otherwise and this discussion is a good place for such engagement.”
The discussion will centre on 7 themes which served as a guide for the study research which includes: General Corruption Issues, the Creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the Passage of the Right to Information Bill, Reforms/Compliance with the Public Procurement Act and Value for Money audits, Beneficial Ownership Title, the passage of the Public Officers’ Code of Conduct Bill and Reforms of the Assets Declaration Regime, and the National Health Insurance Scheme and the School Feeding Programme.