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Title: The politics of anticorruption in Ghana, 1993-2006 : action, inaction and accountability
Author: Ofori-Mensah, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis evaluates the effectiveness of Ghana's anticorruption system between 1993 and 2006, the first 14 years after the return to democratic rule in the Fourth Republic. It focuses on how the key anticorruption agencies (ACAs) - the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Serious Fraud Office, Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and Auditor-General - have addressed issues of accountability vis-a-vis incumbent governments. The thesis first outlines Ghana's anticorruption history, prior to 1993, in order to determine the failings of past accountability attempts. Next, the mandate, independence and enforcement capabilities of Ghana's ACAs are examined. A case study approach is adopted to analyze how corruption has been tackled in two areas - local government and state enterprises. With the local government case, measures to address fraud in the award of contracts, procurement and revenue collection are assessed. The state enterprise case study, Ghana Airways, is used to explore obstacles to anticorruption. In addition, accountability in the process of privatization, a key element of liberalization reforms, which were also intended as a remedy for mismanagement and fraud in state enterprises, is evaluated. The findings suggest that, despite the elaborate anticorruption system, there is limited incumbent accountability. This is, firstly, due to a lack of political commitment to anticorruption, by government, in spite of protestations to the contrary. The evidence indicates both the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party were reluctant to prosecute or enforce anticorruption recommendations involving ruling elites within their own parties. ACAs have statutory independence, yet incumbents exercise significant control by retaining authority in areas such as criminal prosecution and resource allocation. Secondly, weak internal controls were found to undermine anticorruption efforts through the opportunities made available for exploiting public resources. These limitations, particularly with reference to incumbents, have instead left government elites open to prosecution for corruption only after they have relinquished power. Therefore, it is concluded that, despite their elaborate design, Ghana's ACAs have made only a modest contribution to accountability within the democratic regime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available