Sep 2013

The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants-Ghana (ICAG), Mrs Angela Peasah, has pledged the commitment of the Institute to working in collaboration with the relevant government agencies to strengthen the Institute’s monitoring role.

Mrs Peasah noted that the accountancy profession was being dragged into disrepute at various platforms including Public Accounts Committee and Judgment Debt Commission hearings while financial malfeasance had featured prominently in both the public and private sectors.

She warned that sanctions would be applied against members found culpable while the Institute would take the necessary steps to weed out charlatans tainting the image of the Institute and the Accountancy profession.

The ICAG President was delivering a welcome address at this year’s Presidential Luncheon of the Institute in Accra on Friday.

The Luncheon also formed part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Institute.

Speaking at the function on the theme: Accountability and integrity as agents for transforming the economy, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and Guest of Honour,  Prof. Stephen Adei,  noted that Accountability, Integrity and Transparency (AIT) were the cornerstones of good governance.

According to Prof. Adei, AIT promoted the effective, timely and efficient use of positions for authorised ends and justified purposes, and that within an economy, accountability and integrity were positively associated with transparency, while negatively, they  stood in contrast to corruption.

He said the positive impact of accountability and integrity on the economic fortunes of a country was best appreciated by looking at corruption―the opposite of integrity―which thrived in an atmosphere of lack of transparency and accountability.

Citing from several studies conducted by Selcuk Ackay on Corruption and Human Development, he said virtually every major socio-economic policy indicator in Ghana was impacted negatively by corruption.

He said corruption or lack of AIT constituted the greatest hindrance to the economic growth of Ghana and her social stability, with the state losing over 25% to 50% of its potential revenue sources ―an amount which, he said, could replace all donor assistance which averaged about US$ 1.6 million per annum.

He, therefore, called on the political leadership of the country to demonstrate good examples of integrity, hard work and accountability beyond the formal demands of the Constitution and law such as the current assets declaration mechanism.

“Wherever there has been high level of accountability and integrity, it has been the result of the good example, firmness, political will and commitment to carry out the required reforms by the leadership,” Prof. Adei noted.

He stressed the need to tackle institutional corruption and the greater use of e-government to reduce human contacts to the barest minimum, increase transparency and raise the stakes for those who indulged in bribery and corruption, Prof. Adei also called for a reform of the electoral system so that it would not cost an average of GH₵200,000 and more to be elected as a Member of Parliament and, possibly, the same to become a Metropolitan, Municipal or District Chief Executive.

He underscored the importance of a strong campaign to involve more people in awareness creation on corruption, reporting corruption and ensuring that whistle blowers were not victimised, and called for truly independent oversight institutions with powers of prosecution, a truly independent Legislature and an enlightened civil society and non-partisan media which he described as the ultimate guarantors of a system of integrity.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)