ACCESS TO BASIC PUBLIC SERVICES: CHALLENGES GHANA MUST OVERCOME
Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah
Aug 2017
Access to water, sanitation and healthcare are considered basic rights, as they remain critical for human development. However, in many developing countries, access to these services remains a major gripe. The aims of this paper are to provide analysis that contributes to a better understanding of the gaps in access to basic services in Ghana and to inform policy by shedding light on the areas that require intervention. This paper draws primarily on key survey evidence, which provides valuable insight on access to water, sanitation and healthcare ...
FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR OF GHANA: THE ROLE OF ASSETS DECLARATION REGIME
IEA
Jun 2017
Corruption is endemic in the public sector as indicated by both anecdotal and evidence based research. Many people posit that where assets are declared, upon assumption of public office, officials could better yield to public scrutiny. The assets of public officials, particularly in developing countries, are often found to be excessive in relation to their income while in public office, which in turn raises speculations as to how they got their assets. One important tool for identifying the legality of the assets of public officials is assets declaration. This paper provides an analysis of the existing practice in the area of assets declaration in some countries in Europe, North America and Africa. It examines the key elements of assets declaration regimes such as the legal frameworks, institutional arrangements and policy objectives. In addition, the paper evaluates as a case study, the effectiveness of Ghana’s current assets declaration regime as a tool for combating corruption ...
‘Fixing the Roof while the Sun is Shining’ Ten Lessons from Country Experiences with Fiscal Policy Rules
Dr. Charles Amo-Yartey
Apr 2017
This paper reviews country experiences with the implementation of fiscal policy rules focusing on eight advanced and emerging economies with the objective of drawing policy relevant lessons for the implementation of fiscal rules in developing countries. It explores a range of design features, statutory provisions, penalties for non-compliance and operational arrangements. The analysis provides a number of useful lessons for the design and implementation of fiscal rules centering on elements of good design, appropriate coverage of fiscal rules, timing of its introduction, mechanisms to encourage compliance, key implementation issues, and supporting institutional arrangements ...
THE ROOTS OF CORRUPTION: THE GHANAIAN ENQUIRY REVISITED
IEA
Feb 2017
Corruption has engaged the attention of the international community, politicians and citizens because of its deleterious and corrosive consequences on politics, governance, security and socio-economic development. Several strategies including reform of the constitutional, legal and institutional framework have been implemented by all countries including Ghana to curb the scourge of corruption but they have remained largely unsuccessful. As a contribution to the debate over corruption, this paper revisits some of the causes of corruption especially social norms or socio-cultural practices and values in Ghana using data obtained from the Corruption Survey which was undertaken by the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana in 2015. ...
PARLIAMENT’S ROLE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Dr. Albert Kan-Dapaah
Feb 2016
In the late eighties and early nineties Ghana embarked on an agitation for Good Governance. We demanded: Human Rights, Media Freedom, Law and Order, Personal Liberties and Parliamentary Democracy. These were the governance challenges at the time. Today, we have achieved virtually all of these demands. Democracy is well planted in our dear country. Consequently, there has been a paradigm shift in our governance challenges, which includes ensuring financial accountability in the public sector. In broad terms, this paper discusses the role of Parliament as the key accountability institution in the fight against Corruption. It also examines the relevance of the Public Financial Management (PFM) system in the fight against corruption, and reveals that key accountability mechanisms are not allowed to operate in the budget cycle; and the specific oversight roles of parliament have not been performed effectively. The paper concludes with some solutions to the anomalies. ...
ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY AND PRUDENCE IN THE USE OF THE PUBLIC PURSE
Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman
Feb 2016
In the late eighties and early nineties Ghana embarked on an agitation for Good Governance. We demanded: Human Rights, Media Freedom, Law and Order, Personal Liberties and Parliamentary Democracy. These were the governance challenges at the time. Today, we have achieved virtually all of these demands. Democracy is well planted in our dear country. Consequently, there has been a paradigm shift in our governance challenges, which includes ensuring financial accountability in the public sector. In broad terms, this paper discusses the role of Parliament as the key accountability institution in the fight against Corruption. It also examines the relevance of the Public Financial Management (PFM) system in the fight against corruption, and reveals that key accountability mechanisms are not allowed to operate in the budget cycle; and the specific oversight roles of parliament have not been performed effectively. The paper concludes with some solutions to the anomalies. ...
EMPOWERING GHANA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Justice Emile Francis Short
Feb 2016
Purging Ghanaian society of the canker of corruption is one of the most herculean developmental challenges confronting the nation. Since the attainment of political independence in 1957, several anti-corruption policies and measures have been instituted to grapple with the problem. Among the measures is the creation of constitutional and statutory bodies with specific mandate of combating corruption. Contending that the performance of anti-corruption institutions must be critically assessed against the key governance principles of probity and accountability, this paper offers an incisive and scholarly critique of the mandate, functions, powers and performance of three anti-corruption institutions in contemporary Ghana. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations for strengthening the anti-corruption effort in Ghana and enhancing the effectiveness of the key constitutional bodies at the helm of that drive. ...
Righting the Ills of Budget Preparation, Implementation and Oversight in Ghana
Dr. J.K. Kwakye and Dr. Nkechi Owoo
Nov 2014
Perennial budget overruns and their adverse effects on the economy have attracted widespread concerns. Motivated by these concerns, this paper assesses institutional processes, arrangements and the legal framework for budget preparation, implementation and oversight in addition to carrying out a survey of relevant budget implementers and overseers. The paper finds that budget preparation is largely in conformity with international standards, with the exception of not being informed by any “fiscal rules.” Also, ab initio, budget allocations often fall short of expenditure requests by line ministries, which is a recipe for spending overruns. The big problem, however, lies at the implementation and monitoring stages where there are severe deficiencies, including laxities in managing control systems and weak parliamentary oversight. The paper makes far-reaching recommendations for entrenching budget discipline in Ghana. ...
GHANA’S DEBT PROFILE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Aug 2014
Relying on both external loans and domestic borrowing to support its development saw Ghana's debt rise over the years, reaching over 100% of GDP in 2000. When the IMF and World Bank introduced the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative in 1999, Ghana was judged to be a HIPC with unsustainable debt. The country benefited from debt relief under the initiative in 2004 when it met the full policy conditions. Subsequently, in 2006, the country also benefited from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), which offered total relief from debts owed to the IMF, the International Development Association (IDA) of the World, and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The HIPC and MDRI reliefs resulted in a sharp decline of Ghana's debt to about 26% of GDP, which was regarded as a sustainable level. ...
FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION AND THE COST OF CREDIT IN GHANA
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Aug 2014
The Ghanaian financial sector has been growing rapidly. It is, however, not clear how “financial intermediation” and “financial deepening” have been evolving. Further, the cost of credit has been persistently high, which stifles investment and economic growth. The reasons have not been fully investigated and documented. The paper seeks answers to these questions by applying a combination of analytical and survey investigative methods. The paper finds that financial intermediation and financial deepening are low and depict Ghana’s financial sector as still “shallow.” The paper also finds that, from the point of view of surveyed banks—which is also reflective of widely-perceived views—the persistent high cost of credit is primarily the result of competitive government borrowing, high cost of bank funds and high lending risks. The paper proposes interventions to address these deficiencies in the financial sector. ...