The Lands Commission has interdicted 14 staff members implicated in Stamp Duty fraud, detected in May 2022. The fraud came to light when the Commission’s Audit Unit observed a discrepancy in tax figures paid by property owners for the registration of their properties.
The alleged fraud is believed to have caused a tax loss of GH¢100 million, with the affected staff now undergoing court processes led by the National Investigations Bureau. Mr. Benjamin Arthur, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, disclosed this during the Executive Secretary’s Annual Briefing and the launch of the Staff Awards Scheme in Accra on Friday.
However, further investigations revealed an exaggeration in the initial amount. The Commission has taken internal disciplinary action against the suspects and is in the final stages of determining their fate with the Commission.
Simultaneously, other Commission staff are undergoing disciplinary procedures for fraudulent activities, including the deletion and insertion of records to produce false search reports. Mr. Arthur emphasized that while the management prioritizes job security, acts of indiscipline and fraud will not be tolerated.
The event also marked the unveiling of the Commission’s five-year Business Strategic Plan (2023-2027), outlining goals such as enhancing financial sustainability, digital reforms, corporate image, and staff competence to improve service delivery.
In an effort to address misconceptions and enhance the Commission’s image, Mr. Arthur announced the launch of an outreach program, “You Deserve to Know,” to educate the public on various aspects of its operations and activities.
Acknowledging the negative perception surrounding the Commission, Mr. Arthur stressed that the outreach campaign aims to correct misconceptions and create a positive corporate image, contingent upon improvements in service delivery.
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, expressed confidence in the Commission’s leadership and its commitment to digital transformation, the completion of a new head office, and an enhanced corporate image. He believes that the Commission is heading in the right direction and will gain credibility and efficiency in the eyes of Ghanaians.