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General News of Saturday, 28 January 2017


Prez Akufo-Addo files tax returns

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has declared his assets in fulfilment of Article 286 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550).

According to the acting Director of Communication at the Flagstaff House, Mr Eugene Arhin, initial attempts by presidential staffers to file the President’s assets declaration form were unsuccessful because of shortage of receipt booklets at the office of the Auditor-General.

The hitches, he said, were, however, overcome on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 for the President to file the form.

In Ghana, two main laws regulate assets declaration—Article 286 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550).

1992 Constitution

Article 286 (1) of the Constitution states that public office holders, including the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, as well as ministers and deputy ministers of state, ambassadors, the Chief Justice and managers of public institutions in which the state has interest, shall submit to the Auditor-General written declarations of all property or assets owned or liabilities owed by them, whether directly or indirectly.

The constitution, however, forbids public disclosure of the assets declared by the public officers concerned unless demanded as evidence by a court of competent jurisdiction, a commission of enquiry appointed under Article 278 or before an investigator appointed by the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

Declaration of Assets and Disqualification Act, 1998

Act 550, on the other hand, provides the framework and guidelines for asset declaration in Ghana as a tool to combat corruption among public office holders.

Act 550 defines public office to include: “An office the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of moneys provided by Parliament and an office in a public corporation established entirely out of public funds or moneys provided by Parliament; except that for the purposes of declaration of assets under this Act, it does not include the Armed Forces.”

Section 1 of the Act states that: “A person who holds a public office mentioned in section 3 of this Act shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all properties or assets owned by him; and all liabilities owed by him; whether directly or indirectly.

President Akufo-Addo focused his campaign in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 general election on issues, including the need to ensure transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs and fight against corruption.