Advertisement

Weakening Parliamentary Oversight, Increasing Corruption: Ghana

  • Rasheed Draman
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 34)

Abstract

After brief improvements early this decade, governance in Ghana appears to be deteriorating. While Ghana still ranks among the ten best performing African countries, its performance has weakened over the past decade, registering the eighth largest decline in overall governance of all African countries, with accountability and public management (along with national security, public safety and infrastructure) recording the largest declines (Mo Ibhahim, IIAG: Index Report. http://mo.ibrahim.foundation, 2016). As a result, corruption is increasing. Four factors explain the poor oversight performance of the Ghanaian Parliament: the executive cooptation of Parliament; the executive dominance of Parliament; an expanded space for corruption; and excessive partisanship within Parliament. To reverse these trends, Members of Parliament must shift their drive from private economic and political gain to the provision of public goods. This will require a reinvigoration of the current rule of law mechanisms to allow for the naming/shaming and prosecution of errant MPs, and strong citizen-led groups to demand and exact accountability from MPs.

References

  1. Adomonline.com, “PAC retrieved Ghc20b of state cash in 2014 – Agyeman-Manu reveals”, 5 January 2015. Accessed November 12, 2016.Google Scholar
  2. African Parliamentary Index (API), www.parlcentafrica.org
  3. Alban S. K. Bagbin, “Decouple position of Minister of Justice from that of Attorney-General”, Daily Graphic, 31 January 2015.Google Scholar
  4. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, “Curbing Corruption and Improving Economic Governance: The Case of Ghana” Unpublished Manuscript, p. 4.Google Scholar
  5. Chabal, P. & Daloz, J-P. (1999) Africa Works (Oxford: James Currey for the International Africa Institute).Google Scholar
  6. Citifmonline.com, “Speaker throws out motion to investigate Mahama’s Ford gift”, Thursday 1st September, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2016.
  7. Ghana News Agency – gna.com, “PAC Recovers 40m from public servants” November 5, 2008.
  8. Ghana News Agency – gna.com, “ Prof. Ayittey Blames Parliament for Corruption in Ghana”, November 7, 2013.
  9. Institute of Economic Affairs, “List of Most Corrupt Ghanaian Institutions: Police, The Presidency, Parliament, All Feature Prominently”, www.ieagh.org.
  10. Justice Srem-Sai, “Parliamentary Oversight in Ghana – A Brief Review”, paper for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Accra, Ghana.Google Scholar
  11. Myjoyonline.com, “Parliament divided over $60 million loan agreement”, November 2, 2016.
  12. Myjoyonline.com, “Martin Amidu accuses previous Parliaments of ‘endemic corruption’”, January 10, 2017. Accessed 10 January, 2017.
  13. Norton, P (1998) Introduction: The Institution of Parliaments, in: P. Norton (ed.) Parliaments and Governments in Western Europe vol. 1, pp. 1-43 (London: Frank Cass).Google Scholar
  14. Patzelt, W. J. (1994) A Framework for Comparative Parliamentary Research in Eastern and Central Europe, in: A. Agh (ed.) The Emergence of East Central European Parliaments: The First Steps, (Budapest: Hungarian Center of Democracy Studies Foundation).Google Scholar
  15. Peacefmonline.com, “Parliament, Judiciary Deadlocked …Over Right To Prosecute Public Officers For Financial Malfeasance” 21 April, 2015.
  16. Pelizzo, Riccardo and Rick Stapenhurst (2004) “Legislatures and Oversight: A Note”, Quaderni di Scienza Politica, 11/1: 175-188.Google Scholar
  17. Morgenstern S., & Manzetti L. (2000) “Legislative Oversight: Interests and Institutions in the US and Argentina”, Paper prepared for delivery at Notre Dame conference on Horizontal Accountability in New Democracies, May.Google Scholar
  18. Lindberg S. & Zhou Y., “Co-optation Despite Democratization in Ghana” (2009) in Joel D. Barkan, ed., Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies, Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  19. Sartori, G. (1970) Concept Misinformation in Comparative Politics, American Political Science Review, 64, pp. 1033–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Standing Orders of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.Google Scholar
  21. Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana) (2011) “Political Economy Analysis (PEA) of the Parliament of Ghana”.Google Scholar
  22. Mo Ibhahim (2016) IIAG: Index Report. http://mo.ibrahim.foundation
  23. Rotberg, R and J. Salahub (2013). African Legislative Effectiveness. Research Report. Ottawa: North-South Institute.Google Scholar
  24. Stapenhurst, R (2002).“Helping Parliaments Help the Poor” (2002). Development Outreach Vol. 4 No. 2 April.Google Scholar
  25. Stapenhurst, R, R. Pelizzo and K. Jacobs (2014) Following the Money: Comparing Parliamentary Public Accounts Committees London: Pluto Press, 2014Google Scholar
  26. Wang, V. (2005) The Accountability Function of Parliament in New Democracies; Tanzanian Perspectives Christer Michelsen Institute Working Paper 2005:2 (Bergen, Norway).Google Scholar
  27. Wehner, J. (2006). “Assessing the Power of the Purse: an Index of Legislative Budget Institutions”, Political Studies, vol. 54, n. 4, pp. 767-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rasheed Draman
    • 1
  1. 1.African Centre for Parliamentary AffairsAccraGhana

Personalised recommendations