Fighting Corruption in the Public Sector of Ghana: The Role of Assets Declaration

As indicated by both anecdotal and evidence based research, corruption is endemic in the public sector. 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. This paper evaluates as a case study, the effectiveness of Ghana’s current assets declaration regime as a tool for combating corruption. It further argues that Ghana’s assets declaration regime, as it currently exists, has been ineffective and incapable of combating corruption. The paper concludes that a lot of work needs to go into the present system to make it more potent in combating corruption in the public sector.