In the first part of this two-part article, Kwaku Krobea Asante assessed whether President Akufo-Addo’s tenure from 2017-2020 had provided more funding to anti-corruption institutions than the erstwhile John Mahama government which spanned from 2013 to 2016. He made the assessment by comparing the value of the actual budgetary allocations granted to the institutions by both governments.
In this article, he analyses how much funds both governments released to the anti-corruption institutions out of the original budgets the institutions requested during the period of 2013 to 2020.
Since 2018, a year after being in power, President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has maintained a consistent narrative of providing funding to anti-corruption institutions than the other governments which were in power before him.
He has often made this claim in response to his critics who have asserted that the president’s deeds against corruption have not matched the grand and moving anti-graft rhetoric he adopted when campaigning to come into power. Indeed, the President has rebuffed that assertion of his critics by saying his “government has fought corruption not in words, but in concrete deeds.”
“We have shunned mere exhortations and showy denunciations of unproved corruption. It has been a holistic approach,” President Akufo-Addo added. He made this statement when he delivered the keynote address at the National Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on December 10, 2021. At that event, he had more to say:
“We have protected the public purse, we have made institutional reforms, we have enacted additional, requisite laws, and we have resourced more adequately the accountability organs of state. Our fight against corruption has been grounded on legislative, financial and institutional action, and not on lip-service.”
In March 2021 at the State of the Nation Address (SONA), nine months prior to the keynote address at the National Anti-Corruption Conference, President Akufo-Addo made a similar claim of providing more adequate resources to accountability institutions
“That is why, within two years of being in office, we more than doubled funding for accountability institutions of state, like CHRAJ, EOCO, the Judiciary and the Auditor General,” he said.
This article analyses whether President Akufo-Addo’s government has provided more funding resources to the anti-corruption institutions when compared with the others.
A two-step approach to verify the President’s claim
To verify the President’s claim, Fact-Check Ghana used the Right to Information law to request data on budgetary allocations and the actual amount released by the government to all the anti-corruption institutions.
Three of the institutions provided the data – Audit service, Judicial Service and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Fact-Check Ghana opted to analyse government funding to the anti-corruption institutions by comparing allocations under the John Mahama government of 2013 – 2016 to the first term of the Akufo-Addo government from 2017 – 2020 as they were the years the data were readily available.
The analysis was done on two levels:
In the first part of this two-part article, actual budgetary funds released to the anti-corruption institutions from 2013 – 2020 were compared to ascertain if President Akufo-Addo and his incumbent new patriotic party (NPP) have indeed increased and more than doubled the allocations to the institutions relative to the previous government. To compare the funding contributions of the two governments (Akufo-Addo and John Mahama) over the period, Fact-Check Ghana computed the current values of the monies released to the institutions. The report concluded that indeed the first tenure of the Akufo-Addo government (2017-2020) saw an increase in funding to the anti-corruption institutions relative to the John Mahama administration (2013-2016). However, the claim that the incumbent Akufo-Addo government had more than doubled funding to the institutions was found to be inaccurate.
In this second part, Fact-Check Ghana analyses how much funds the government has released to the anti-corruption institutions out of the annual budgets the institutions requested during the period of 2013 to 2020. The article measures what fraction or percentage of the budget requested by the anti-corruption institutions was eventually released and disbursed for their work.
What it means to provide more funding to the anti-corruption institutions
An institution’s budgetary request or allocation is an estimation of the resources the institution reckons it would need to be effective in the delivery of its mandate. Thus, approving the entire budgetary request or a considerable fraction of it indeed empowers the institutions to function well.
Many economists and finance experts Fact-Check Ghana consulted averred that the extent to which a government approves the budgetary request of an anti-corruption institution is a better measure to gauge which government have provided funding to them than merely comparing the nominal or real values of the monies released. They explain that this measure is more contextually nuanced.
In the three tables below, Fact-Check Ghana computed the percentage or rate of confirmation of budgetary requests by the government (2013-2020) for the Audit Service, Judicial Service and CHRAJ.
Table 1: Audit Service
Source: Audit Service
During the tenure of the erstwhile John Mahama administration (2013-2016), according to Table 1 above, the Audit Service received 117.4 percent of approval of their budgetary request. Thus, the Service received more funds than they requested. This is compared with the 84 percent confirmation rate under the Akufo-Addo government (2017-2020).
Table 2: Judicial Service
Source: Judicial Service
From Table 2 above, while the Akufo-Addo tenure (2017- 2020) provided 72 percent of the budgetary request by the Judicial Service over the four years, the John Mahama administration (2013 – 2016) provided 88 percent.
Table 3: CHRAJ
From 2013 to 2016, the John Mahama government provided 108 percent of budgetary requests by the funded CHRAJ according to Table 3 above. Akufo-Addo’s tenure (2017-2020) provided 90 percent.
In conclusion, from the data, when the analysis of which government has provided better funding to accountability institutions is done in the context of how much the institutions requested and how much was eventually released to them, the previous John Mahama government (2013-2016) has done better when compared with the Akufo-Addo government (2017-2020).
Therefore, as it concerns the Audit Service, Judicial Service and CHRAJ, President Akufo-Addo’s claims of providing more funding than other governments are false.