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General News of Friday, 11 November 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Akufo-Addo decries politicisation of CLOGSAG

The Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has decried the politicisation of the civil and local government service in the country, saying there is the need to revert those services to their original values of being apolitical, professional and service-oriented.

He said promotion and for that matter advancement in those services ought to have been a product of merit but unfortunately, that was not the case but rather favouritism, patronage, cronyism and political connection had become the means by which people got promoted.

Towards that end, he said, a government under his leadership would work at ensuring that the civil and local government services were given the necessary incentives that would make them effective in running the government machinery.

Nana Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the leadership and members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) as part of his engagement with identified groups to share his agenda for change with them, as well as articulate his vision when elected president.

Restoration of pride

“The state machinery is in your hands. If it works well, then it means you are working well. We are coming into office with a very positive attitude towards the development of our country but a huge burden lies on your shoulder. Whatever it takes to make it work, we are prepared to do it,” he stated.

He said an NPP government, under his leadership, would work to restore that sense of pride that had been the hallmark of the civil and local government system of the country, adding that if the country was to succeed, then much depended on the two services.

The NPP, he said, had a number of policies to stimulate the private sector into spearheading the development agenda of the country and that the unalloyed professional output of those two services was crucial for the realisation of those visions.

“We need you to make that work. Your ability to deliver is critical to the success of our plans,” he stressed.

Nana Akufo-Addo said the public’s confidence in the incorruptibility of the civil and public services had waned drastically and that there was the need to take appropriate steps to give assurance to the people that a government under his leadership was dedicated to doing an honest job.

Sole sourcing

He said the Public Procurement Law was written during his tenure as the Attorney-General of the country and that per that law, competitive bidding ought to have been the means for the award of government contracts but that had not been the case under the Mahama administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“There should be competitive bidding but in recent times, that has not been the case. We have become victims of sole sourcing, which has become a source of worry and that should not be the reputation of our country,” he added.

It was unfortunate, he said, that the country had been mired in these circumstances of the present times adding, “We can do much better to improve the status of our country and economy. It is possible with proper policy implementation.”

The Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, said placements, with regard to grades on the single spine salary structure (SSSS), was not done well and stressed that for instance, the base pay on the grade was below the minimum wage which ought to be addressed as soon as possible.

Second-tier pension lost?

Mr Bampoe Addo also said accruals from the second-tier pension had still not been transferred to custodial bank accounts, and in addition, the temporary fund account had not been audited.

“Our people are crying and begging to know where their pension is,” he indicated.

Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, a stalwart of the NPP who made a delivery on the party’s policy on local government, said although the SSSS was developed under the President Kufuor regime of the NPP, the government lost to the NDC and could, therefore, not see to its implementation.

“Given the nod, a government of the NPP would take another look at that policy and make the necessary changes to reflect present-day realities,” he stated.

On the second-tier pension fund, he said: “I don’t have a clue as to why the government has not handed your second tier to you.”

However, Nana Akufo-Addo said he hoped that during the transition period, in the event of he being a president, the details of where that money had gone would be disclosed but if that was not done, he would then know what actions to take towards locating it.