Story: News Desk
Pressure group, OccupyGhana, welcoming the President’s statement on moves to ensure the prompt passage of the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, Tuesday, urged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the public to join the campaign to make it a law.
The group, in a press statement, stated that President Akufo-Addo’s recent endorsement and support of the Bill “signifies a significant shift” by the government towards their “long-held position.”
President Akufo-Addo, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Ghana Bar Association’s Annual Conference on Monday, 11 September 2023, in Cape Coast, stated that the Attorney General was leading efforts to enact a law on the ‘Conduct of Public Officers’.
The Bill, among other things, intends to introduce “stringent administrative measures and sanctions “to deal with violations of the law by public officers, ranging from a bar against holding public office for limited and indefinite periods to penal sanctions and measures.”
“The Attorney-General will bring the bill soon for the consideration of Cabinet and subsequent enactment by Parliament upon the conclusion of the consultation,” the President had assured.
OccupyGhana said the fight to ensure “more accountability and transparency by public officials” was not “even half won”.
Hence, there is the need for stakeholders to ensure that the Attorney-General forwarded the Bill to Parliament and that Parliament “passes the Bill into law, all at the earliest times possible,” the group added.
Making reference to previous correspondence on the subject, OccupyGhana said the President’s endorsement of the Bill was “never-too-late” although “the Attorney-General concluded his consultations and submitted the draft Bill to Cabinet as far back as May 2022.”
Following the latest pronouncement by the President, Occupy Ghana said it believed, “the era of the Government’s reluctance or unpreparedness to endorse and forward the Bill to Parliament is now behind us.”
The group added the President’s announcement nullified earlier claims that the Bill was “unnecessary due to the alleged existence of sufficient legislation on the matter.”
“We would want to believe that the President’s speech signifies a significant shift by the Government towards our long-held position. He has given the Attorney-General the green light to conclude the Cabinet deliberations and promptly submit the Bill to Parliament.
“Hopefully, the era of the Government’s reluctance or unpreparedness to endorse and forward the Bill to Parliament is now behind us. We once again invite Ghanaians, fellow Civil Society Organisation and the media, to join us in this campaign to ensure that the Attorney-General indeed forwards the Bill to Parliament, and that Parliament passes the Bill into law, all at the earliest times possible,” it stated.