Ghana Mid-Term Progress Report 2015-2017
The action plan contained ambitious measures to implement open-contracting, increase extractives’ revenue transparency, and improve online access to information. While several of the commitments were vague, and completion appears low, many commitments saw progress after the period assessed in this report. Moving forward, the Ghanaian government could focus on improving record management as a prerequisite to ensure passage of the long-awaited freedom of information law.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a voluntary international initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments to their citizenry, to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Ghana began participating in OGP in September 2011. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a biannual review of the activities of each country that participates in OGP.
A steering committee (SC), equally comprised of government and civil society (CSO) representatives, is in charge of decision and policy-making for OGP processes. The leading agency for coordinating the OGP process is the Ministry of Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS). The PSRS has little legal power to compel ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to implement the action plan. To ensure implementation of commitments, MDAs in charge of implementation are invited to participate in quarterly meetings with PSRS. At the time of preparing this report, however, no meeting had taken place.
Countries participating in the OGP follow a process for consultation during development of their OGP action plan and during implementation.
The development of the second action plan took place in three steps including a consultative workshop, a working committee to compile issues identified at the workshop, and a validation meeting. CSOs played key roles throughout the plan’s preparation process. However, most CSOs were from the greater Accra region; moving forward, a more diverse group of CSOs could be invited to the drafting process.
While PSRS organised two awareness-raising forums about OGP during the implementation of the action plan, it did not organise a multi-stakeholder forum to discuss ongoing implementation of the plan. PSRS released the midterm government self-assessment report in October 2016. The document reviewed progress made on the commitments but lacked evidence supporting such progress.
As part of OGP participation, countries make commitments in a two-year action plan. The Ghanaian action plan contains six commitments. The following tables summarize each commitment’s level of completion, potential impact, whether it falls within Ghana’s planned schedule and the key next steps for the commitment in future OGP action plans. Similar commitments have been grouped and re-ordered for better understanding.
The IRM awards “stars” to commitments that meet several criteria. Commitments must be highly specific, relevant to OGP values, of transformative potential impact, and substantially completed or complete. Some commitments (e.g. Commitment 1) will receive stars at the end of term as they were completed after this assessment period.
This report was prepared by Nicholas Adamtey, Transparency and Accountability Inititative (Ghana)