The commission also urged persons and institutions mandated under the Whistleblowers Act to receive reports to do well to protect the identity of citizens who exposed wrongdoings.That, the commission said, would encourage citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption and other acts of malfeasance in the country.
The Chairperson of the NCCE, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, made the call at the fourth national dialogue on Whistleblowing organised by the NCCE with support from the European Union (EU) in Tamale last Tuesday.
The dialogue focused on whistleblowing as a key issue in the commission’s research findings on "Public Perception of the State of Corruption, Public Accountability and Environmental Governance in Ghana".
It was to engage, educate and empower the citizenry to actively participate in the governance process by contributing to a reduction in corruption, improvement in accountability and compliance with the rule of law and better environmental governance.
The dialogue examined key issues related to the whistleblowing mechanism such as protection for whistleblower, provisions for identity protection, when to report cases of corruption, role of specific institutions in investigation of reported cases of corruption and the role of access to information in whistleblowing.
Ms Nkrumah said it formed part of the efforts by the commission to deepen the understanding of the citizenry on the Act and also empower them to play their roles in fighting corruption.
“The institutions that we have that must fight corruption do not work in a vacuum and for us as citizens we must complement the work of these institutions to fight corruption by adequately blowing the whistle to fight corruption”, she stated.
Establishment of fund
The Chairperson of the NCCE also called on civil society organisations (CSOs) to collaborate with the commission to see what measures could be taken to accelerate the establishment of the whistleblowers fund to provide a reward system for citizens who reported corruption and other acts of impropriety that would lead to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators.
“We must become advocates for the establishment of the fund,” she said, adding that “we must ginger our Members of Parliament (MPs) to commit to the establishment of the fund.”
Panellists who spoke at the dialogue said a reward system would make people to volunteer information on corrupt deeds and acts of malfeasance in institutions.
They cited the police informant reward system which helped the police to apprehend criminals.
The panellists were the Northern Regional State Attorney, Mr Salia Abdul Quddus, the Director in charge of Education at the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Naana Amuah Sekyi, and a representative of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ms Mary Awala Ada.