The Postal Packet and Telecommunication Message Bill is, currently, before cabinet, the Minister for the Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo, has announced.

The objective of the Bill, Mr Woyongo said, was to permit the lawful interception of postal packet and telecommunication messages for the purpose of fighting crime, suppressing organised crime including, money laundering, terrorism and narcotics trafficking, and to identity theft and the protection of national security.

The Interior Minister, who was speaking when the Ministry took its turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra, yesterday, to outline the various achievements and challenges of the Ministry and its agencies, also announced that with the support of the Police Management Board and Civil Society Organizations, the Ministry was working towards the creation of an independent Police Complaints Commission to address complaints against the Police.

He said the Ministry was also in collaboration with relevant stakeholders- the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) -to craft a national response to the emerging menace of on-line child sexual molestation which had become a national security concern.

Mr Woyongo, gave the assurance that the Ministry would protect the prevailing peace in the country to allow law-abiding citizens to go about their legitimate and social activities without fear, and called on citizens to exhibit tolerance and respect for each other to promote peace and unity in the country.

Touching on some of the major achievements of the Ministry, he said the Ministry had launched its Service Charter which outlined processes, fees and timelines to all major services it provided, adding that an implementation committee had also been established to receive complains.

On challenges, Mr Woyongo noted that maintaining peace and security was expensive, requiring adequate state-of-art logistics and equipment, which the Ministry, currently, lacked. In addition, he said, all the agencies under the Ministry were under-staffed as a result of death, retirements and resignations, a situation he described as a serious draw back to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ministry.

Furthermore, he said the situation was compounded by lack of office and residential accommodation which affected the operational effectiveness of the agencies.

Agencies under the Ministry are the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service, National Peace Council, Ghana Prisons Service, Narcotic Control Board, National Disaster Management Organization, National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Gaming Commission and the Ghana Refugee Board.

Source: Government of Ghana.