Pressure mounts on gov't to amend Asset Declaration Law

By Michael Abayateye
Franklin Cudjoe,IMANI Boss

Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa, has joined other civil society groups calling for the Public Office Holders Asset Declaration Law to be amended to ensure transparency.

In an interview with Primenewsghana on the need for public officials to declare their assets, he said, the law as it is would not achieve the needed results if the contents of assets are not publicly declared.

"Blank assets could be declared and it is one thing declaring assets and the other knowing exactly what is contained in the asset," he stated.

He encouraged public officials including Ministers and Members of Parliament to not only declare their assets but make contents available for all to see.

"When that is done, everyone would know what the public officers have and could be held responsible if something goes wrong," he stated.

The current law only allows public officials to submit their assets in an enclosed form, to the Auditor General who is not obliged to scrutinize the assets to ensure that they properly represented.

Government officials are expected to declare their assets two months after being appointed to office but after six in office, some officials in the Akufo-Addo administration are yet to do so.

The development pushed some civil society groups to put pressure on the president to ensure that his appointees declare their assets.

On Monday, Executive Director of CDD Ghana, Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, during a meeting with Nana Akufo-Addo, reminded the president of his pledge to publicly declare his own assets and asked the President to also encourage his Ministers to do same.

Meanwhile, Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo has said the President and Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia have declared their assets.

Though he could not confirm the number of ministers that filed their returns and those yet to, he said, the assets would be compiled and published in the next two months.

"I have directed the unit responsible for assets declaration to produce a report on everyone that has submitted their assets to the outfit and it would be published accordingly," he stated.

According to Mr Domelevo, the law as it currently would only encourage concealment of assets instead of disclosing them, hence, advocating for contents of assets to be declared and published. GhanaNews