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Conduct of Public Officers Bill 2013 must be passed ASAP - GACC

According to GACC, the passage of the bill will set clear rules for public officials on how to conduct themselves in an array of instances including when it is acceptable to receive gifts from people

According to GACC, the passage of the bill will set clear rules  for public officials on how to conduct themselves in an array of instances including when it is acceptable to receive gifts from people.

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The dilemma of gift giving to public officials has become a source of public concern after it was discovered that a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, who has won a number of government contracts, gave President Mahama, a Ford Expedition car as a gift.

Responding to the development, the government said the gift, although intended for the president, has been added to “the vehicle pool at the Presidency as per established convention had nothing to do with the award of the contracts.”

“We are appealing to Parliament to pass the bill before they rise in July. That bill goes into detail to talk about the difference between a bribe and a gift; the type of gift to accept, the process that you can go through with the gift and then what not to accept”

The bill when passed into law, will determine the grounds for disqualification from holding public office, declaration of assets, what constitutes improper enrichment, solicitation and the acceptance of gifts, acceptable gifts as well as the forfeiture and disposal of prohibited gifts.

Narteh also added that these rules will not only apply only to elected officials.

“Although we are talking about the presidency, the principles apply to all public holders....As public officers, there is a need to know the kind of gifts we take and that if these are potential people that we are going to have business with, then we need to have some discretion in terms of receiving these gifts.

Many groups including the minority in Parliament, have already indicated this could be grounds for the impeachment of the president.

Narteh defined bribery as taking something, to abuse your office, for personal gain, to take an action or even to coerce an inaction.

Earlier in May, President Mahama on the sidelines of an anti-corruption summit in London, said he has never taken a bribe.

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