The Office of the Special Prosecutor, OSP, is expected to receive and act on referrals of investigations of alleged corruption and corruption-related offences by Parliament, the Auditor-General’s Office, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Economic and Organized Crime Office and other public bodies for the year ending 31st December, 2023.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor plans to accelerate on the progress made in the preceding year by undertaking the following interventions to recruit 50 specialized staff; Train 200 staff on the rudiments of intelligence gathering; Procure security, intelligence, and communication equipment.
The rest are: Procure Cyber Security equipment; and procure Office equipment and machinery, Investigate 50 cases and Procure office furniture.
For the implementation of the programmes and other activities of the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the year 2024, a total sum of One Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, and Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Nine Ghana Cedis (GH¢149,005,669.00) has been approved by Parliament.
The OSP expressed concerns over the persistent budgetary allocation challenge for Goods and Services and Capex for the full operationalization of the Office.
The Prosecutor indicated at the committee level that the Office needs approximately Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (GhC 100,000,000) for Special Operations, Training of Staff, General administration, and Goods and Services.
The OSP further indicated that an additional amount of Two Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (GhC200, 000,000) is needed to procure security, intelligence and communication equipment, office furniture and forensic laboratory equipment under Capex.
However, the Office has been allocated a sum of Thirty-Two Million Seven Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand Six Hundred and Seventy Ghana Cedis (GhC32, 735,670) and Forty-Seven Million Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand Ghana Cedis (GhC47, 370,000) for Goods and Services and CAPEX respectively.
The 2024 allocation represents 32.7% and 23.7% of the total requirements for Goods and Services and CAPEX respectively.
While acknowledging the need to adequately furnish the office of the Special Prosecutor with the needed resources towards its full operationalisation, the Committee, indicated that there was also the need for the OSP to equally show and commensurate concrete gains made to the state by the existence of the Office.
Members appreciate the challenges being faced by OSP in its work but nonetheless, they bemoaned the fact that the Office is yet to live up to the hype which ushered in its establishment.