Ghana need more action on Open Governance Partnership (OGP) commitments

2 June 2015

Mr Linus Azato Atarah, a Project Coordinator at the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has said more work is still needed for the country to attain its Open Governance Project (OGP) commitments.

He said the OGP seeks to empower people to use their right to information, participation and accountability; to improve their lives, help prevent public sector corruption, and establish a set of open governance standards that could be adopted both at the national and international levels.

Mr Atarah, who is in charge of the OGP at the GII, said this during a two-day consultative workshop held over the weekend at the Forest Hotel, Dodowa. He said the absence of the OGP could lead to the promotion of corruption and the impunity of public office holders, while citizens would be unable to hold public office holders accountable.

Mr Atarah said in promoting the right to information, the GII sought to ensure the formulation of clear procedures for accessing information, a reasonable timeline for obtaining information, and the proactive publication of information.

He said participation in public affairs should be recognised in the Constitution and more importantly, an independent institution be established to protect this right. Mr Atarah said the GII was also interested in ensuring that a control and oversight mechanism had been instituted to oversee the activities of all office holders in the local governance structure.

The whistle blowers initiative, he said, needed to be backed by a legislation with adequate protection and compensation for whistleblowers, while there should be transparency in all lobbying activities. Mr Atarah said there was also the need for governance stakeholders to participate in Ministerial Advisory Boards and the Audit Report Implementation Committees.

He said the importance of the OGP needed to be highlighted in media discussions as it would generate confidence in the political system, minimise the cost of public administration, forestall social unrest, and enhance national mobilisation.

The workshop was attended by members of the civil society, officials of government agencies and representatives of the media.

Source: GNA