This week ARAP proudly presented key equipment to the Judicial Service’s Public Relations and Complaints Units (PRCUs). Such support to help ensure that public servants perform their duties with professionalism and ethics, while putting in place strong complaints mechanisms to report misconduct and corruption, is considered a powerful way of increasing accountability and preventing corruption throughout the country.
With funding from the European Union, ARAP is helping the Judicial Service to extend its PRCUs to all ten regions of Ghana. Following the support previously provided by Danida, which included the installation and renovation of the PRCU buildings, ARAP is now further reinforcing and implementing the initiative. ARAP provided the PRCUs with critical IT equipment (including computers, internet routers and printers), furniture (tables and chairs) and telephones.
The completion of the PRCU Operational Guidelines (drafted with Danida’s support) is also a fundamental development to enhance the efficiency of the PRCUs, by standardising the procedures to effectively deal with complaints. In addition to the equipment, 1,000 copies of the 12-page Guidelines were delivered.
The handover of the equipment was received by Judicial Secretary Mr Justice Alex Berchie Poku-Acheampong from the Judiciary, and Justice Angelina Domakyaareh from the Public Complaints and Court Inspectorate Unit.
The Public Relations and Complaints Units play a key role in receiving and dealing with complaints from the general public. These can vary from relatively minor complaints such as rudeness by staff and failing to assist members of the public, to more serious complaints of corruption and even allegations of bias by judicial officers.
Ongoing support and collaboration between ARAP and the Judicial Service will include providing training for the newly recruited PRCU staff, as well as the development of a digitalised system to manage the complaints. Such a tool will allow for more effective monitoring and the ability to give feedback to the complainants.
ARAP’s support to Ghana’s anti-corruption efforts include such technical assistance and training for the Judicial Service, in order to help it improve and enhance the adjudication and hearing of corruption cases.