By Maxwell Ofori
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched a five-year public sector reform policy, with an indication that it would help deal with apathy and resistance in the public sector.
Among other things, the reform will also strengthen the human resource capacity of the public sector to improve its delivery, President Akufo-Addo noted.
He said these at the launch of the five-year public sector reform policy, held at the Accra International Conference Centre on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.
To develop the requisite skills and knowledge needed for the delivery of modern services, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that public sector training institutions will be resourced.
“The process will also enhance the ethical foundation of the public sector, and, in addition, introduce change management initiatives to deal with apathy, resistance and reform fatigue, which have been the bane of previous attempts at reform.”
The President indicated that when Ghana attained independence in 1957, an efficient public service, the envy of many in the region, was bequeathed to the nation.
“It has, over the years, contributed its quota to our development and progress. In spite of its modest achievements, the Ghanaian people, in recent years, have expressed dissatisfaction with the systems of service delivery in the public sector. Whether it is about absenteeism or lateness, incompetence or corruption, the public sector is, today, unhappily, not seen in [a] good light,” he said.
The President noted that international best practices in the public sector requires that there was a robust regulatory framework to define and shape the nature of work and service delivery to the citizenry and private sector.
Accordingly, he said, appropriate measures to review, streamline, revamp and regulate the implementation of the Client Service Units (CSU) and Client Service Charters (CSC) will be undertaken, by prescribing a uniform format and standards.
Again, to attach importance to this management tool, which has made considerable impact in other jurisdictions, President Akufo-Addo said it is intended that the CSU and CSC will be launched before the end of the year, to ensure its adoption with the required modifications by all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He believed modernised and improved working conditions were key to increasing productivity in the public service.
He asserted that there was going to be a systematic review of public sector compensation in its entirety, with the institution of a suitable performance-based reward system to help guarantee increased productivity.
The review, President revealed, will pursue opportunities for upgrading office space, and provide the necessary tools and equipment to improve the work environment within the Service.
“Additionally, a central assets and inventory check system to take stock of all physical assets in the public service will be established. Furthermore, a culture of maintenance of public assets and property must be revived and adhered to.
“Other areas of concern, in government’s pursuance of reforms in the public sector, will be strengthening the local government structures, and the digitisation of public sector services and systems,” he remarked.
The intention, according to President Akufo-Addo, was to bring governance closer to the people, and identify local economic development initiatives to provide opportunities for job and wealth creation at the local level.
He added that it would also focus on high level activities, aimed at transforming and mainstreaming ICT in government agencies.
Apart from that, it would ensure the establishment of an electronic records management system for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, the President opined, adding that “ultimately, the public sector will go paperless and reduce drastically the interface that currently exists between citizens and public servants in the provision of services.”