Public office holders must account properly to citizens – NCCE

Wa- The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Wa East has urged public office holders to account properly to citizens as required by good governance practice to cut down on corrupt dealings in the public sector.

The Commission is of the view that adequate accountability guarantees sustainability of institutions, communities, groups and organizations for better delivery of public goods and services.

The call was made by Mr Ali Darijan Habib, lead resource person, during a community durbar organised by the NCCE at Tiisa in the Wa East District where about 246 people were schooled on Ghana’s whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720).

It was supported by the European Union (EU) under the theme: Public accountability and environmental governance and aimed at promoting good governance and reducing corruption as well as improving accountability and compliance of rule of law.

The Commission is mandated to advocate, lobby and campaign for increased accountability and reduction of corruption in Ghana under the Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption programme (ARAP).

Mr Habib who led discussions on the topic: The whistleblowing mechanism and anti-corruption: The role of the citizenry during the meeting, urged public office holders to cultivate the habit of accounting properly to the masses through whose authority they wielded power.

Every responsible leader must ensure that, citizens have the necessary information to hold them accountable for their actions, he added.

Whistleblowing is explained in the Act to include drawing attention to significant wrongdoing, malpractice or impropriety that has happened or happening or about to happen within an organization or society for appropriate action.

The Act focuses on offering adequate protection to Whistleblowers against victimization in any form, including harassment, intimidation, threats, discrimination, unfair transfer, suspension, among others.

Mr Habib said whistleblowing was usually done in the interest of the public and in good faith but not for purposes of vendetta as perceived by sections of the public.

He assured participants that every information on corruption related issue reported to the right quarters would be treated with confidence and urgency it deserved.

The public was encouraged to make disclosures on corruption to Office of the President, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Economic and Organised Crime Office, Auditor-General, Attorney General, Members of Parliament, police officers, Chief, religious leaders, among others.

Tiisa Naa Zakaria Abdul- Aziz Topie II commended NCCE and EU for educating the people of Tiisa, on ways to combat the menace of corruption.

He also encouraged participants to collaborate with anti-graft institutions in tackling corruption effectively.

He noted that corruption was a human right issue because it cost lives and should not be handled in isolation but linked to education, health and justice.

About 145 males and 101 females participated in the community engagement programme.

Source: Ghana News Agency