Wednesday, 21 September 2011

District-level rights agencies “underfunded”

In a powerful indictment of the government's weak commitment to fighting corruption and voter education, state officials have told journalists that the district offices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) are so poorly financed that they are unable to carry out their constitutional obligations.

The two bodies rely on quarterly transfers for their operations in the districts.

The CHRAJ and NCCE are established under the Constitution, and while CHRAJ serves as the chief advocate of human rights issues, the NCCE educates the electorate on its civic responsibilities.

Both institutions report directly to the National Assembly, which approves the annual budget. The district offices of each organisation get less than US$2000 each a year.

These details were revealed when the Omanhene (traditional ruler) of the Bekwai Traditional area in the Ashanti Region, Nana Karikari Appau II, paid a surprise visit to a number of district-level departments, including CHRAJ, NCCE, Ghana National Fire Service, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority at Bekwai on 15th September.

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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