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General News of Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Source: GNA

Government is committed to resolve challenges in public sector - Azong

Accra, June 23, GNA - Mr Alhassan Azong, Minister of State Responsi ble for Public Sector Reforms, on Tuesday stressed government's determination and commitment to resolve challenges and foster industrial harmony in the sector. He, therefore, entreated all public and civil servants, private sec tor collaborators and the media to continuously provide feedback on the servi ces rendered by public institutions.

Mr Azong made the call in a statement to commemorate Africa Public Service Day (APSD) celebration.

June 23, has been set aside by the African Union for the celebration of APSD, but Ghana will observe it in July under the theme: "Strengthening Leadership and Management for improved Public Service Delivery in Africa" .. The commemoration of the Day originated from the First Conference of African Ministers for Public and Civil Service held in Tangier, Morocco i n 1994. Since then, APSD has become a well-established strategic event on t he African Union calendar.

At the Tangier conference it was agreed that June 23 of every year should be celebrated as the APSD, to serve as a platform for the public service to showcase best practices and innovations, recognise and reward good initiatives and achievements in the public sector and to promote val ues such as professionalism, accountability and integrity in service delivery .. Mr Azong, who is also Member of Parliament for Builsa South, said thi s year's celebration would create a forum for interaction between the publi c service providers and users with emphasis on analysing feedback on servic e delivery. He said the celebration would be climaxed by Public Service Innovatio n Awards, to encourage the leaders and the rank and file of public services to be confident, feel significant and act boldly to influence positively on the lives and prospects of the people.

"We need both the private and the public sectors to achieve the bette r Ghana agenda. To achieve this, a sound virile customer-friendly public sector is a must have platform for the private sector to grow," he added. The statement said the Morocco Conference adopted an African Public Service Charter whose aim was to set standards that would restore prestig e and dignity and raise performance levels and competence in the various national public service institutions.

The continental objectives for the celebration are to, expose the citizenry to the mandate, roles, responsibilities and rights of public service institutions; promote as well as forge a national partnership or an effective, efficient, transparent and accountable service delivery; forge greater cooperation and collaboration between public sector organizations and to contribute towards the growth of the economy, through private sect or development and good governance and partnership.

In Ghana, the Public Sector Reform Secretariat under the Office of t he President, in association with the other Public Sector Reform Stakeholder s adopted and celebrated for the first time, the Public Service Day in 2006 .. The celebration of this Day is to conform to the continental idea of grouping the hitherto segmented celebrations like the Africa Day of the Civil Service and celebrations of other national Public Services Week whi ch were organised as separate events come under one umbrella the "The Africa Public Services Day". This year's theme is premised on the broader continental strategy of a transformative public administration with capability to provide value-add ed and quality public service to the citizens of Africa. The day is expected to highlight the roles, responsibilities and mand ate of the Public Services to bring to the fore, the conditions, efforts and challenges that face the public servant.

The programme objectives are delivery of efficient and cost-effective public services that would improve the living conditions of the poor; increase ownership and participation of Sector Ministers in identifying a nd implementing reform initiatives; making public organizations more respons ive to the needs of the private sector; and building capacity in the Public Service to provide improved, timely, transparent and productive service t o the executive branch of government - particularly advisory support to Ministers of State and the Presidency. Again, the Conference of African Ministers for Public and Civil Service, currently chaired by Kenya, reiterated the need to assess and establish linkages between governance and public administration capabilit ies within a broader development agenda of co-operation among member states o f the African Union.

In addition, this initiative is to share knowledge and learning withi n the framework of exchange and capacity development on focused priority ar eas within the continental programme. The key activities that Ghana is co-championing to promote enhanced public service delivery include all Africa Public Service Innovation Awar ds; African Public Service Day Celebration and Leadership and Management Development.