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Jun 12, 2013

Cabinet approves amendment to the Whistleblower Act

Cabinet has approved the amendment to the Whistleblower Act to give more protection to private individuals who may volunteer information on crime to the security services.

It has also approved the National Anti-Terrorism Amendment Act to give the state the power to freeze the property of people engaged in acts of terrorism.

The amendment of the Whistleblower Act seeks to provide for the manner in which individuals may in the public interest, disclose information that relates to unlawful or other illegal conduct or corrupt practices of others to the state security.

It also provides protection against victimisation of persons who make the disclosures, and also articulates for the establishment of a fund to reward individuals who make the disclosures and other related matters.

With the amendment of the act, individuals in the private sector are also protected from any vilification from their respective managements, should they volunteer any information about wrong doing.

Briefing journalists at the Flagstaff House, in Accra yesterday, a deputy Minister of Information, Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, said the approval of the amendment to the Whistle Blower Act was to encourage workers in the private sector to divulge information about suspected wrong doings in their respective establishments.

He said people in the private sector who would volunteer information to the security services would be assured of their protection against dismissal or any adverse actions against them by their employers.

With the National Anti-Terrorism Amendment Act, Mr Murtala Muhammed said currently Ghana depended on the United Nations Security Council Law on the freezing of assets of suspected terrorists.

Under that law, even the judgment of law courts is limited in terms of freezing of assets of suspected terrorists.

Answering a question on the decision by the government to include American security experts in the investigation of the causes of fire outbreaks in Ghana, the Deputy Information Minister refuted claims that it was a demonstration of the lack of confidence in the country's security personnel.

He said it was normal for countries to seek the assistance of other countries in some difficult situations, saying that 'there is nothing wrong with countries coming to assist in times of difficulty.'

By Musah Yahaya Jafaru