The issue of which government has funded accountability institutions to be able to do their work effectively has become a debate between the two main political parties in Ghana; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The Akufo-Addo administration has been accused severally of stifling state institutions, especially accountability institutions, whose mandate is to fight corruption, ensure accountability and protect the rights and freedom of citizens.
In 2019, for instance, CHRAJ, went to court to seek clarification on Article 227 after accusing the Finance Minister of “unconstitutionally” presenting a reduced budget of the commission to parliament. Article 227 stipulates how the commission should be funded. Many interpreted the comments from CHRAJ to mean that the commission was receiving less funding.
However, president Akufo-Addo in his 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) expressed his commitment at helping these institutions function effectively saying “government has increased budgetary allocations to all the accountability institutions of State, including the Parliament of Ghana, the Judiciary, CHRAJ, EOCO, the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, the Auditor General, the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Ghana Police Service with annual increases between 25% and 34% between 2017 and 2019”.
Fact-check Ghana has started a series on looking at the budgetary allocations and actual disbursements for accountability institutions by the Mahama and Akufo-Addo regimes from 2013 to 2019. The Mahama regime covers the years 2013 to 2016 while the Akufo regime covers the years 2017 to 2020.
To help present the facts to the public, Fact-check Ghana filed an official Right to Information request to CHRAJ to seek information on budgetary allocations for the commission and actual releases from 2013 to 2019. The year 2020 was not included because the information requested required the actuals released to the institution information on which may not have been available for the year 2020 as at the time the request was made.
Following the request and in compliance with the RTI law, CHRAJ presented to Fact-check Ghana data on its budgetary allocations and the actuals released to the institution for the years 2013 to 2019.
Giving the change of value of money over a period of time, Fact-check Ghana used the Oanda exchange rate of 31st December for each of the years to arrive at the dollar equivalent of the actuals in the various years.
The table below presents the figures as received from CHRAJ.
The dollar column was created by Fact-check Ghana and not part of data received from CHRAJ.
Below is a scanned copy of CHRAJ’s letter responding to our request.