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Osafo-Maafo calls for review of Ghana’s asset declaration law; says current regime is opaque

Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has observed that the current asset declaration regime in Ghana is not transparent.

Under the current regime, he explained, the declared assets remain confidential between the Auditor General and the officers declaring the assets.

This, in his view, makes it difficult for one to challenge the declaration that has been done.

Addressing a forum on open government partnerships and construction sector transparency in Accra, on Tuesday, April 23, he said “In Ghana when you become a minister of state, at all levels, asset declaring is the first thing you do, you declare your asset and file same at the Auditor General. What I personally don’t like about this law is that after you declare the assets everything is kept confidential between the Auditor General and yourself.

“Therefore it becomes very difficult for anybody to challenge the authenticity of your declaration.

“I think that yes, let us declare the assets but there should be a certain level of transparency in the declaration of the assets so that people assess what you declare.”

Asset declaration is a multifunctional anti-corruption tool aimed at detecting the acquisition of illegal and unjust enrich­ment and for recovery of same to the state and building broader integrity of public service.

The Public Office Holders Decla­ration of Assets and Disqualification ACT 1998 (Act 550) has been in existence for a very long time and has always been a feature of Ghana’s consti­tutional and legal framework since the 1969 Constitution down to the 1992 Constitution.

Article 286 (1) of the 1992 Con­stitution states that: “A person who holds a public office mentioned in clause (5) of this Article shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all property or assets owned by or liabilities owed by, him whether directly or indirectly

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