By Gloria Owusu Mensah and Dorcas Tiwaa Addai
A 5-day training workshop is being organised by CHRAJ in collaboration with EU-ARAP programme for 56 CHRAJ officers in Akosombo in the Eastern Region.
The 56 participants made up of Directors and Senior Officers drawn from the Head Office, Regional and Sub-Regional offices of the CHRAJ are attending this training to build their capacity in basic training in investigations techniques, ethics, integrity and human rights.
Director of Anti-Corruption, Mr. Charles Ayamdo who is facilitating the activity, spelt out the following programme outline for the week:
- Review performance in the Commission’s mandate areas and address gaps;
- Address emerging issues and lessons learnt from the experiences shared by participants to feed into the subsequent trainings;
- Enhance and reinforce the capabilities of officers, investigators and case officers to handle allegations and complaints of corruption and human rights;
- Provide officers and investigators with appropriate skills in the mandate areas;
- Strengthen the linkages in the Commission’s mandate areas and adopt strategies to actualise them during the handling of complaints;
- Enhance the capacity of CHRAJ officers on ethics and Integrity, and
- Explore strategies to manage integrity and investigate allegations of breaches of the code of conduct and conflict of interest for public officers especially in the light of recent Supreme Court decisions.
He indicated that, the training programme formed the first part of a 6 – Module programme, planned for a total of about 300 Officers of the Commission in batches of 50 Participants per workshop, for a minimum of five (5) days per batch.
Mr. Tuinese Amuzu, a consultant on the European Union (EU) – ARAP programme who are the main sponsors of the training, made a brief statement on what ARAP’s 5-year programme with Ghana seeks to achieve; and what strategies the programme has adopted to attain these goals.
The Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP), according to him, seeks to promote transparency and good governance in Ghana by reducing corruption and improving accountability and compliance to the rule of law, especially, in the areas of corruption, accountability and environmental governance. That, strategies adopted to attain these goals included capacity building and support to key State Institutions including the Ghana Police Service, Attorney General’s Department, CHRAJ, EOCO and NCCE who are operating in the programme area; thus, this capacity building workshop. He expressed his gratitude to be on this programme and wished the workshop, a fruitful deliberation.
The Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Joseph Whittal, opening the workshop, presented the strategic direction of the Commission, and commended ARAP for their support to CHRAJ and most importantly, funding this training programme. For him, the programme was of great importance to the Commission since it could serve as a road-map for the planning of the strategic direction of the Commission for the next 5 years of which its discussions could inform future planning of similar programmes. He was emphatic of the need for CHRAJ’s activity plans to be aligned with current happenings at the international, regional and national levels.
Mr. Whittal made special mention of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which according to him was premised on human rights which coincidentally was one of CHRAJ’s core mandate areas and as such, an appropriate example to align with. He thus strongly advised that all Departmental and Regional Directors re-look at their various Annual Work Plans (AWPs) drawn for 2019 to align them to the SDGs. He asked the Director of Human Rights, Dr. Isaac Annan, who was the focal person for CHRAJ, as a member of the Inter-ministerial Coordination Committee (ICC) on the SDGs to brief the Workshop on its current state of implementation by national government.
Departmental and Unit heads from the Head Office, as part of the programme outline, presented a review of their performance for the year 2018, with an indication of their challenges encountered during the year under review. This session gave an opportunity for clarifications, questions and answers and open discussions. Departments and Units represented were the Human Rights, Administrative Justice, Anti-Corruption, Investigations, Public Education, Research, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Finance, Budget, and Audit. Presentations on Projections or Highlights for the year 2019 were also made and were moderated by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Richard Quayson.