A 2022 corruption report has once again exposed the country’s public sector citing major public institutions.
According to the findings of the survey, Ghana Police Service (GPS) emerged as the most susceptible to bribery among all public officials, with an alarming prevalence rate of 53.2 percent.
This was followed by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) with bribery rates of 37.4 per cent and 33.6 per cent, respectively.
Other institutions included Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) with 29.5 per cent, passport agency officials with 29.0 per cent and prosecutors, judges and magistrates with 22.3 per cent.
The survey was conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
The report further highlighted that workers at the Lands Commission received the highest number of bribes from Ghanaians seeking the services of the commission.
The report highlights that the average amount the workers receive is GH¢1,669. This is followed by prosecutors, judges or magistrates who receive an average of GH¢1,208.
Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) receive GH¢950. In contrast, the least amount of GH¢91 is received by health workers apart from doctors, nurses, and midwives.
Notably, elected government representatives exhibited a substantially lower prevalence of involvement in bribery, registering at a mere 2.9 per cent.
Bribes paid to public officials come in different forms. Almost 9 out of 10 of those paid in Ghana are in the form of cash (84.8 per cent).
The report indicated that food and drink and the exchange of a public service for another service are far less common, although in the country’s rural areas (17.8 per cent) more bribes are paid in the form of food and drink than in its urban areas (10.1 per cent).
It also mentioned that the total cash bribes paid in the country are the equivalent of almost one third of the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Education.
“Cash bribes are 1.5 times larger in urban than in rural areas of the country, with the national average bribe amounting to GH¢348,” it said.
“Given that roughly GH¢17.4 million bribes were paid in Ghana in 2021, a total of roughly GH¢5 billion is paid in cash bribes to public officials on a yearly basis in Ghana, or the equivalent of 32.9 per cent of the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Education,” it stressed.
By Vincent Kubi