General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has reiterated its commitment to protect the identity of the whistleblower in its quest to get the co-operation of the public as part of efforts to eliminate corruption in the country.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) K.K Amoah (rtd), Executive Director of EOCO, said as an investigative body this measure is key in their operations if they were to win the confidence of the people in their fight against crime.
Mr Amoah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-line of a validation workshop on its Client Service Charter.
In an effort to combat economic, financial and organised crimes, the Office, he said, has developed a Client Service Charter to outline its commitment to clients and the state.
The Charter aims at explaining the services of the Office and sets out expected standards and mechanisms for feedback and handling of complaints.
Some services provided by EOCO include conducting investigations, monitoring/oversight responsibilities, surveillance, sensitization programmes, professional and ethical standards and prosecutions.
Mr Amoah said there are quite a number of people who do not understand their operations, as such, the Charter would give the public access information and as well follow on issues or complains.
He said one key point the workshop highlighted on was the need to open up to the public, adding that “but you sometimes see people coming to lodge complains and they want results as early as possible; it does not work that way because investigations take time”.
Mr Amoah expressed the hope that in the midst of all these, they should be in the position to brief clients very well and the public must also reciprocate the effort in the sense that it takes time to investigate a case, and so the public must exercise patience.
Mr Suleman Ahmed, Chief Director, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, said the Charter would enhance and promote transparency in the work organisations do, and as well brief clients as to the kind of services available.
He said in this regard EOCO must not operate as a secret institution, hence, the Charter would let people understand the services available at EOCO and how the public could access it.
The Chief Director told GNA that if clients were dissatisfied with the kind of services they render, the client service unit to be established as part of the Charter would go a long way to address these concerns.
Mr Ahmed said on the other hand, in the quest to fight corruption, the public should be forthcoming with information, stating that “the public should provide relevant information to EOCO, and it should be timely”.
EOCO is a specialised agency established to monitor and investigate economic and organised crimes and on the authority of the Attorney General prosecute these offences to recover the proceeds of crime and other related matters.
It was established in September 2010 by an Act of Parliament to replace the erstwhile Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to investigate crimes such as money laundering, human trafficking, prohibited cyber activity, tax fraud and other serious offences.
Its mission is to lead a unified national effort to fight economic and organised crime by detecting, investigating, preventing and prosecuting all serious economic and organised crimes in the country.