George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA
Accra, June 29, GNA
- Dr Clement Apaak, Head of the Citizens Complaints Unit, on Wednesday
indicated that the body since its launch had received a total of 106 complaints
covering all sectors of the economy.
He said while 52 of the complaints have been fully resolved, 19 were under investigations and seven referred to other agencies for investigations and verification.
Dr Apaak who stated this in a report copied to the Ghana News Agency said 18 of the cases were pending action due to insufficient evidence from complainants.
The Citizens Complaint Unit has been set up in fulfillment of President John Dramani Mahama’s resolve to encourage active citizen participation in support of the fight against corruption and to enhance the right of citizens to demand better services from state institutions and agencies.
The Unit constitutes the voice of the voiceless, the crowd sourced tool that empowers each individual to report corruption or poor public service delivery anonymously or personally without the fear of security.
The Unit, which is headed by Dr Apaak and assisted by Mr Mohammed Adamu Ramadan, Presidential Staffer, oversees the centre, located in room 209 in the Public Services Commission Building and is manned by eight National Service personnel who run the day-to-day activities of the Centre.
There are three main modes for receiving complaints; Telephone Calls, Walk-In and a Website. Once a complaint is filed, personnel monitoring the aspect of the report take swift action till the cases are solved and proper action is taken.
Dr Apaak said most of the complaints that were received were; poor services rendered by some public institutions, extortion of money from citizens by individuals and some public and private firms, poor working conditions, health related issues and legal issues.
He said Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Water Company, personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service, the Passport Office, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority and the Harbour Authorities, have been the most complained about institutions.
He said some complaints received regarding ECG and Ghana Water Company suggested that these institutions constantly billed their customers with abnormal consumption charges.
In the case of Ghana Water Company, he said evidence provided by some complainants confirmed that some of the Customer Care Assistants do not actually read the meters but fabricate the figures on the basis for which they are billed.
"In the case of ECG, most complaints suggest that some ECG stations have not provided their customers with meters after several months of payment."
Dr Apaak said due to the delay in the customer service, some personnel of the ECG have taken undue advantage of the situation by charging extra fees from customers for quick installation of the meters out of the scheduled time.
Other citizens complained that they never received their water and electricity bills since they relocated to their new sites for more than three years.
"Regarding complaints about DVLA, officials are reported to be charging unapproved car registration fees from citizens and complaints about the activities of the officials at the Tema Harbour are no different from the DVLA example stated above.”
He said most mentioned complaint is in relation to the disappearance of goods and items imported by citizens; cars, high duty cost on imported goods, which ended up in the pockets of individuals rather than state coffers.
On some of their success, Dr Apaak added that the work of the Unit has led to the successful retrieval of some monies extorted from citizens and some health related and energy issues, which pose persistent problems in some residential areas for over a year, have also been resolved.
He however stated that insufficient evidence submitted by some complainants online, dormant contact lines of some public institutions and frequent movement to those institutions were part of their challenges.
"The Customer Care Assistants in some public institutions are not proactive in the discharge of their duties," he added.