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General News of Sunday, 27 January 2019

Source: GNA

Local Government Service charges its staff to serve public interest

Acting Chief Director of the Local Government Service, Mr. James Oppong-Mensah Acting Chief Director of the Local Government Service, Mr. James Oppong-Mensah

Mr. James Oppong-Mensah, Acting Chief Director of the Local Government Service (LGS) said, public officers are placed in a position of trust to act in the public interest.

He, therefore, urged public officers to make the public interest of Ghana their ultimate loyalty as expressed through the democratic institutions and government.

Mr Oppong-Mensah said this in a speech read on behalf of Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Service, at the maiden Conference of the Association of Local Government Service Administrative Officers (GALGA) held in Kumasi in Ashanti Region.

The Conference was on the theme:” The Critical Role of the Administrator in Shaping Ghana’s Local Governance System for Accelerated National Development.”

He said the formation of professional associations was a step in the right direction meaning it has to serve its members in a professional manner but not to serve as platforms for organizational vigilantism.

Mr Oppong-Mensah said the LGS was aware that some professional staff in the Service were habitual late comers, as some come to work at 10 am and leave at 3:30 pm.

“Some go on weekends on Friday and come on Monday afternoon, this is not only unprofessional but also incur the displeasure of your bosses which negatively affect your career”.

He said research has shown that professional associations can contribute to high performance in organizations and urged them to select leaders who will be professional and focused to sustain the association.

Mr Oppong-Menah said prior to 1988 there were 65 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and in 1988 45 more assemblies were created bringing the number to 110.

“As at now, we are having 254 MMDAs and six more assemblies will be added to make them 260 MMDAs."

The Chief Director said the LGS is one of the composite Public Services in Ghana which integrates professionals from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies into its fold at Regional Coordinating Councils and MDAs level.

He said the integrated nature of the service comes with its own complications and challenges and this needed to be resolved to consider fairness and equal opportunities.

Mr Oppong-Mensah said the LGS Council in their last meeting approved a proposal to review the existing protocols of the service (schemes of service, code of conduct condition of service etc) and that the process will start early next year with a stakeholder consultation and charged members of GALGA to take the exercise serious and make relevant inputs during the exercise.

“The LGS is also committed to developing the skills of all its professionals by ensuring that members participate in career training programmes and short courses to improve their capacity”.

“The LGS has come up with a capacity-building framework which when operationalize next year will address most of the capacity development challenges in terms of scope and funding”.