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General News of Thursday, 18 January 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

IDEG calls for Public Sector constitutional reforms

Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) logoInstitute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) logo

Professor Atsu Ayee, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has called for a constitutional and legal reform in the public sector to address deficit in the composition, size and different nomenclatures of its organisation.

Prof Ayee, who is also a Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana, described the categories of public services listed under Chapter 14 (Article 190 Section 1 a-d) of the 1992 Constitution and the Public Services Commission Act, Act 482, 1994 as vast, complex and amorphous.

He said all public sector organisations have different Acts establishing them with their own governing boards, sector ministries and condition of service, which are contradictory and inconsistent with one another.

Prof Ayee made the call in Accra at a seminar dubbed; “Six Decades of the Public Sector in Ghana: Issues and Prospects,” organised by IDEG in Accra.

Touching on the size of the public sector, Prof Aryee said it was regarded as bloated resulting in inefficiency and high personal emoluments element of the budget, since the sector was still the primary provider of wage employment in the country.

He said the different nomenclatures where some called them service, agency, authority, board, commission, and trust created a perception of superiority, importance and rivalry among the organisations.

He therefore called for the harmonization of these nomenclatures to give some uniformity in the way the organisations were governed. According to him, the reform must help to reduce the multiple institutions involved in the monitoring and evaluation of public sector organisations.

He said there was the need to address the political settlement problem in the public sector including reforming the election cycle, financing and ensuring compliance by political parties.

“We need to improve the regulation of political parties through strengthening the Electoral Commission and setting up a separate body for complementarities, promote inclusion by amending Article 55(3) to enable political parties in local governance,” he added.

He said politicization of the public service may be explained by the active participation of some high profile public servants in partisan politics contrary to the 1992 Constitution and other legal documents.

He posited that, complaints from succeeding Presidents, citizens, the private sector and surveys by think tanks tagged service delivery by the public sector as unsatisfactory.

Mrs Bridget Katsriku, Chairman of Public Services Commission, said the issue of bloated public sector was misconstrued since there are many human resource gap in other sectors including education.

She said the absence of established control system had also contributed to the excessive increase in the size of the public sector and called for a concerted effort to address the problem.

She appealed to research institutions to conduct research on the country’s nomenclatures and propose the best appropriate names to use.

Dr Alex Glover-Quartey, Former Head of Civil Service, urged public servants to be professional and discharge their mandate without fear or favour devoid of political affiliation. GNA

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