Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), an advocacy organisation dedicated to fostering public awareness on the fight against corruption, has recommended the use of an awards system approach in the fight against corruption.
‘‘We are not saying an award system alone is going to minimize corruption, but we say it is complementing our efforts. In this current award system, we don’t punish but reward by praising and letting the public know the good works of most people. It is preventive,’’ she said.
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo said this at the launch of the 2021 Ghana Integrity Awards (GIAwards) sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Accra under the Multi Stakeholders Business Integrity Forum project to recognise outstanding individuals, private and public sector institutions making a significant contribution to combat corruption in the country.
She said the awards were part of GII’s contribution to the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), which sought to create a sustainable democratic Ghanaian society founded on good governance.
The Executive Director noted that the country had made significant strides in addressing the problem of corruption although it was faced with many challenges and needed to do more.
She said the risks from corruption were a major concern for private enterprises, whether they were confronted with demands for bribes, faced with competitors acting corruptly or undermined by employees violating their codes of conduct.
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo described the situation as worrying and appealed to responsible companies to adopt and implement clear anti-corruption policies and effective anti-corruption procedures to ensure that they identified and mitigated the risks of corruption to protect their reputation, shareholders and host communities.
Mrs Mary Addah, Programmes Manager, GII, said awards were very vital tools in both the public and private sector and had the potential to serve as anti-corruption tools.
She said it would build an individual’s esteem, identity, status, and reputation and would serve as an incentive, help establish role models, spread information about successful and desirable behaviour and create loyalty.
The Programmes Manager said this year’s award would also recognise private sector institutions (small and large scale) applying integrity standards and effective corruption prevention mechanisms within their institutions and the country.
She stated that the Awards would be in six categories namely: Policy and Administrative Reforms, Transparency and Social Accountability, Efficient Public Service Delivery, Effective Internal Controls Enforcement, Business Integrity, and Integrity Personality of the Year.
Mrs Addah said nominations would be opened from July to September, voting from September to October, evaluation from October to December with the Awards Night coming on December 9, 2021.
She said details of the awards and nomination process could be found on the website: www.ghanaintegrityinitiative.org, Facebook:@GhanaIntegrityAwards, Twitter:@ghintegrityawds and via telephone: 0302760884.
Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), said the awards must aim at awarding integrity and not popularity and must be presented to deserving persons.
He advised that the award be devoid of politics because the key part of creating the awards was transparency and commended GII and its partners for the initiative.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) as part of efforts at promoting anti-corruption in public life launched and instituted biennial integrity awards in Ghana dubbed the ‘Ghana Integrity Awards’ (GIAwards) in 2019.