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General News of Thursday, 16 November 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Special Prosecutor office to review 75% of cases for prosecution

The office of the Special Prosecutor when operational, will be expected to review about 75%of cases at MMDAs for possible prosecution.

During the 2018 budget reading, coming a day after the passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, disclosed that, Attorney General’s office will have the office up and running in 2018.

“In 2018, the office of the Attorney General’s will operationalise the office of the Special Prosecutor, review all agreements for MMDAs [Ministries, Departments and Agencies], and secure a successful conviction in 75 percent of the cases referred to the office by the police.”

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor is getting ready to crack the whip of justice,” the Minister affirmed.

The setting up of the office of the Special Prosecutor is one of the major anti-corruption initiatives proposed by President Nana Akufo-Addo, which came ever closer to fruition with the passage of the Bill 0n Tuesday.

The office will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 203 Act 63, and other corruption-related offenses implicating public officers, political office holders and accomplices.



Corruption in public procurement

Mr. Ofori Atta also noted the “enhanced oversight responsibility for public procurement” with the appointment of a Minister of State for Public Procurement as one of the measures put in place to reduce procurement malfeasance.

“…a major source of corruption has been with malfeasance in public procurement and the extensive human interface in the provision of public services,” he stated.

Other interventions to curb procurement-related corruption include the introduction of e-procurement by the Public Procurement Authority, the implementation of a paperless system at the Port, and the implementation of the smart vehicle registration and drivers license by the DVLA.

No witch-hunt claims

Mr. Ofori Atta also said investigations into corruption will be thorough to allay fears of political witch-hunts, which the National Democratic Congress Minority in Parliament has suggested.

“There will be enhanced investigation of corruption in the public service by the Office of the Auditor General, EOCO, National Security, and other state investigative institutions. Methodical and thorough investigations are being conducted to avoid claims of witch-hunting,” he said.