THE INSTITUTE of Economic Affairs (IEA), a policy and economic think tank says The Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Office of the President are the most corrupt institutions in Ghana. The indictment is contained in a public perception survey it conducted last year and released at a news conference in Accra yesterday (NDLR : On February 26, 2015).
The Police Service is yet to officially react to the report. The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye, however, told TV3 during a recent interview that the police are always in the news when it comes to corruption because of their regularly contact with the public.
He noted that other institutions in the country may be worst offenders, but because they do not have direct interaction with the public, they are always left off the hook. He also noted that corruption does not involve the exchange of money alone and that if one abuses his or her office, that is also corruption.
He noted that if those who have been conducting the corruption perception survey should focus on this aspect of bribery, they would notice that the police would not always be leading the pack. The government on its part has issued a statement daring the IEA to provide proof that the presidency is the second most corrupt institution in Ghana. The full statement from the presidency is published on page 3 of this newspaper.
According to the IEA survey, out of a sample size of 1200 households, 23 percent of the people were of the view that “nearly all police officials are corrupt.”
The office of the president followed closely with 19 percent, tax officials –15% percent and Members of Parliament –15% Others are government officials –13.9 percent, District Chief Executives –13.3 percent, judges/magistrate –13.1 percent, assemblymen/women, the Immigration Service and the Army –11.9, 10.4 and 7.0 percent respectively.
Dr. Ransford Gyampo, a Research Fellow of the Governance Unit of the IEA, presenting the results of the survey on governance said the most governance challenges confronting the country was the “high prevalence of bribery and corruption.”
Whilst countries such as Botswana, Cape Verde, Lesotho, Namibia and war ravaged Rwanda had taken proactive steps in minimizing corruption, that of Ghana continues to plummet,” stated Dr. Gyampo, adding “the survey results clearly point to its severity.
“The purpose of the survey is to solicit and provide information on Ghana’s perceptions on a whole range of subjects, including economic and living conditions, public safety and security, media freedom and abuse, discrimination and relations between ethnic groups, factors which influence elections, trust in institutions, important problems confronting the country, government performance, corruption, bribery and access to public services,” he said.
Ghana in 2013 and 2014 was ranked 63rd and 61st out 177 and 175 countries respectively by the Transparency International and the Corruption Perception Index. The survey was conducted in all the ten regions of the country with respondents said to be 18 years and above.
The results of the survey also indicate that the public has little confidence in some state institutions especially the tax department.
“The image of the tax department left much to be desired,” Dr. Gyampo noted, as out of the eleven institutions studied, 34.4 percent of the people said they did not trust the Tax Department.
The Electoral Commission (EC) followed closely, recording 35.8 percent, the ruling party –NDC (35.6%), the Police (35.1%) the Metro/Municipal/District Assemblies, the Office of the President and Parliament recording 33.9, 33.8 and 33.1 percent respectively, he added, explaining that this was as a result of their failure to deliver on their respective mandates.
Broadly speaking, about 40% of Ghanaians per the survey thought the economy as a whole is the major problem confronting the country. Apart from the governance, the survey also focused on the socio-economic conditions of the respondents. On living conditions –majority of the respondents (63.3%) regard their current living conditions to be bad, with 25.2% indicating theirs are good.
Source : http://www.thechronicle.com.gh (Ghana)