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CHRAJ urge MPs to declare assets

Mr Joseph Whittal, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Boss, on Thursday charged Members of Parliament (MPs) and government appointees to declare their assets in conformity with Act 550.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, he said that would ensure that all public institutions complied with the provisions of Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution and Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act,1998 (Act 550).

The Act states: “A person who holds a public office shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all properties or assets owned by, or liabilities owed by him, whether directly or indirectly, before taking office at the end of every four years; and at the end of his term of office.”

It lists the President, Vice-President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, a Member of Parliament, and Minister of State or Deputy Minister as those required to declare their assets.

Others are the Chief Justice, Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, Chairman of a Regional Tribunal, Commissioner on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the deputies.

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The rest are judicial officers including members of the regional tribunals, ambassador or high commissioner, secretary to the Cabinet; head of ministry or a government department or equivalent office in the Civil Service.

Mr Whittal explained that as the new government appointed new ministers with Parliament constituted, it was incumbent on constitutionally mandated bodies to remind the officials of their responsibilities under the Asset Declaration Act.

The CHRAJ Commissioner said: “We expect that MPs, government appointees and other public office holders listed in the act must declare their assets before resumption of work,” he said.

“If you accept the appointment you must be ready to do what the Constitution says.”

Mr Whittal called on Speaker Sumana Bagbin to ensure that MPs did what was right by declaring their assets, adding: “They should have done this before the swearing in”.

He said so far as they were paid from the Consolidated Fund the Constitution expected them to declare their assets and that non-declaration was against the law.

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The Constitution demands that the chairman, managing director, secretary, general manager, and departmental head of a public corporation or company in which the Republic has a controlling interest, Governor of Bank of Ghana and the deputies are required to declare.

Heads of Department of the Bank of Ghana and Chancery of Ghana Embassy or Ghana High Commission, Chairman of the Electoral Commission and the deputies; and Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education and the deputies are also required to declare.

Officers in the Armed Forces seconded to civilian establishments and institutions; members of the Tender Boards of the Central, Regional and District Assemblies; officials of the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Division not below the rank of Vehicle Examiner; and Presidential Staffers and Aides among others are not left out.

—GNA