A Whistleblower’ guide has been launched to increase awareness of what can be done to combat unlawful, illegal and corrupt practices in the Ghana.
The booklet launched Wednesday 2nd June aim to encourage honesty and good behaviour in relation to public money, properties and other resources.
Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, former Executive Director of the National Reconciliation Commission, who reviewed and launched the booklet, defined corruption as the abuse of trust for private gain.
He told the Ghana News Agency that corruption goes beyond giving and taking bribes, in addition to economic crimes, and that ‘Many forms of unlawful and improper conduct negatively affect Ghana’s development.’ He also said that although the country has many laws to deal with different forms of corruption, the laws are not always effective as crimes continue to rise.
‘This is partly because most of these practices occur in secret, and those who engage in them take steps to “cover their tracks”. Sometimes, however, some individuals witness these corrupt and improper acts, or get to know about them. ‘Indeed, every year, thousands of employees, managers, corporate executives and other officials witness serious acts of impropriety or wrongdoing that cost the nation a great deal. Sadly, most of them do not disclose such wrongdoing mainly because they are afraid of being victimized,’ he said.
Professor Attafuah insists that the Whistleblower Act (Act 720) is an important anti-corruption tool, that encourages and supports individuals to ‘blow the whistle’ on unlawful or other illegal conduct or corrupt practices of others.
He also claims that it protects any person who ‘blows the whistle’ or exposes the corrupt or other unlawful conduct of others.
The booklet aims to ensure that whistleblowers are not victimized by being fired from their work, harassed, discriminated against, assaulted or even killed.
It also focuses on the meaning and benefits of ‘whistle blowing’, types of corruption and other unlawful conduct on which the whistle can be blown; how and where to blow the whistle; legal protections available to the whistleblower; how to access legal assistance during the investigation and how to work with the media after blowing the whistle.