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Ten Susceptible Areas for Potential Malfeasance in Police Promotions: Forensic Scrutiny for Cadet Course 53

Introduction

When integrity in law enforcement is questioned, the very fabric of public trust begins to fray. The Ghana Police Service faces such scrutiny as allegations of biases in police promotions emerge, spotlighting the 53rd Cadet Officers Course selection process.

Responding to these concerns, the Minister of Interior has tasked the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, with suspending the course and initiating a forensic audit.

A forensic audit will delve beyond the surface to unravel irregularities, ensuring transparency and accountability. This article outlines ten potential malfeasances that demand meticulous investigation to uphold the meritocracy and legitimacy of the Ghana Police Service.

  1. Policy Document and Compliance:

A forensic audit should scrutinize the criteria used for recommendations, ensuring they conform to the established standards without prejudice or preference for certain candidates over others based on ethnicity, gender, or connections. The processes surrounding promotions should be transparent and strictly adhere to established policies and procedures.

The forensic audit should examine the process to ensure it was conducted fairly and in a transparent manner, leaving no room for manipulation or biases. Auditors should scrutinize the record-keeping, notification processes, and the criteria outlined for promotion to confirm adherence to outlined procedural guidelines.

  1. Merit and Qualifications:

Auditors must examine the academic and professional records of the beneficiaries, verifying their authenticity and checking for any alterations that may have unfairly advantaged certain individuals. The primary focus should be on the merit of the candidates being recommended for promotion.

Auditors should review the qualifications of the individuals, including their education, training, experience, performance evaluations, and any other relevant criteria that align with the standards set by the Ghana Police Academy. It’s critical to assess whether the recommendations are based on legitimate policy or clear standards set or if there may be signs of nepotism, favoritism, or other inappropriate influences.

For instance, all those recommended the reason should be Chief Inspectors effective January 1st, 2024 without any professional misconduct against them.

  1. Inconsistencies in Scoring and Evaluation:

The procedures for scoring applicants must be audited for consistency and fairness. Discrepancies could indicate arbitrary or biased decision-making rather than objective assessment. The essence for conducting the exam was to obtain first 300 men on merit, base on the candidates’ score to form Cadet Course 53, but not to score 49% as pass mark. As such that must be duly assessed.

  1. Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination:

It’s necessary to verify that the recommendations for promotion observe the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination. The forensic audit should check for any patterns or evidence suggesting that certain groups may be either favored or excluded based on ethnicity, gender, religion, department, unit, or other unacceptable criteria. There should be a thorough check for evidence of undue influence, nepotism, or favoritism. This includes investigating the personal relationships between candidates and those involved in the selection process.

  1. Corruption and Fraud Indicators:

The forensic audit must look for any signs of corruption, fraud, or financial improprieties related to the promotions. This includes unusual financial transactions, unexplained wealth among those involved in the promotion process, bribery, or other forms of irregular financial activity. Ensuring that the integrity of the promotional process is untainted by corrupt practices is imperative for maintaining public trust and the professionalism of the police force. Any trace of financial inducements, bribery, or other forms of corruption that could have swayed recommendations or decisions unfairly will need to be exposed and made to face criminal liability.

  1. Opaque Promotion Procedures:

The audit should assess the transparency of the promotion process. Opaqueness and lack of documentation could cover up biases in the procedures, warranting a deeper investigation.

  1. Conflict of Interest:

Investigators must explore whether any individuals involved in the process may have had interests conflicting with their duty to carry out fair assessments, possibly manipulating outcomes for personal gain. This includes familial ties, business associations, or any personal relationships that could unduly influence the promotion decision. These conflicts should be disclosed appropriately, and individuals should be recused from the decision-making process where necessary.

  1. Disregard for Official Protocols:

Any deviations from the official police promotion protocols should be flagged, determining whether they were justified or designed to benefit specific applicants.

  1. Data Tampering:

The integrity of the digital and hard copy records pertaining to the promotions should be confirmed. This includes investigating who had access to these records and checking for unauthorized alterations.

  1. Whistleblower Retaliation:

Lastly, allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers who might have raised concerns about the selection process must be considered. This could be indicative of a larger problem within the structure intending to silence dissent and cover up malfeasance.

Conclusion

The sanctity of the promotion process within the Ghana Police Service is not merely about filling positions but is emblematic of the values and operational integrity of the service. A strict adherence to the various issues outlined above will make a comprehensive forensic audit that has the high tendencies to yield the desired outcome to address the suspected wrongdoings, and lay the groundwork for a reformation that reinforces merit-based advancements while restoring public confidence.

Besides, it will safeguard the integrity of the police promotion system, eliminating all forms of tribalism, cronyism, nepotism favoritism, chauvinism and narcissism and ensuring the best system is put in place to promote the best and most qualified individuals. It will not only pinpoint areas of failure but will also ensure the implementation of more robust and transparent systems for future promotions — a consequential step towards reestablishing the honor and credibility of Ghana’s law enforcement.

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