Ghana: GII - Revoke Appointment of GRA Board Chairman

Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has urged the president to revoke the appointment of Kwame Owusu, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) or publish the report of investigation that contradicts the allegations of conflict of interest and financial misuse made against Mr Owusu when he was Managing Director of the Ghana Maritime Authority.

According to the anti-graft civil society organisation, in a statement issued in Accra, on Monday, the integrity of Mr Owusu was being questioned by the citizenry since they have been left in the dark with respect to investigation into the allegations.

"The appointment of Mr Owusu as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GRA has evoked disappointment among the public particularly because of events preceding his exit from previous job.

"The raging debate is focused on the integrity of Mr Owusu and implication to public perception of new institution he has been appointed to, failure by the president to revoke Mr Owusu's appointment or publish the report that cleared him will only contribute to negating all efforts of GRA to promote voluntary compliance of tax laws and hence leaving to mark time at tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 12.6 per cent.

"The service which the president swore to the citizenry include holding himself and appointees accountable to them and making information on accountability available to whose mandate he holds to govern, the president should be guided by commitment, dedication and determination to Open Governance Partnership signed unto in 2011 that bordered on transparency, probity, accountability and citizenry empowerment.

"Publishing reports of investigation into the conduct of public officers is an evidence of good and open governance practice which will be consistent with their oath of office, efforts by governments over years at widening tax net had been fraught with many challenges with anecdotal evidence suggesting there was lack of trust in the government to use tax revenue prudently due to corruption, GII holds the view, it is out of place to appoint an individual whose integrity has been questioned sensitive entity as GRA," the statement said.

Mr Owusu is alleged to have allowed an amount of GH¢10,652.06 to be used for an end of year party for staff of the Authority at his own hotel, and the use of GHȻ1 million for the renovation of his apartment.

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