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General News of Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Source: Class FM

Give whistleblowers incentives – Anti-corruption coalition

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) are proposing incentives for citizens who report corrupt officials in the public sector to reduce corruption.

According to the anti-corruption coalition, the incentives for whistleblowers whose information lead to a successful prosecution will encourage more of such whistleblowing.

Making inputs into the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, who spoke on behalf of the coalition said the Special Prosecutor, together with the public, must be allocated some funds under the bill to take care of those who report corrupt acts.

He said: “Once proceeds have been realised, the court will divide up the proceeds. The office of the prosecutor gets 40 per cent, some other relevant institutions which are defined; those institutions which assisted the office in the investigations and also used up their resources are allowed a certain share of the proceeds. What is missing in our view is the citizen who provided the thing or the information or the complaint that triggered the investigation. We believe that this is the opportunity here to also provide incentives to citizens so that they can have an incentive to fight corruption.

“Even though we think we all should be civic-minded, in many places, in USA for example, there are attorney fees provisions in [their laws] and that is the sweetener in the meal that’s why attorneys themselves go after certain cases in the US. It’s not because they are necessarily more civic-minded. It is because there are incentives in the law such that when you succeed in going after public corruption you are given a pretty substantial bounty and a number of law firms survive on that… so we think that this incentive for citizens to get part of the so called bounty or the realising property at the end of a successful prosecution would be a very good incentive to give to citizen activists who go after corrupt officials often times at the risk of themselves.”

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