We need an efficient Civil Service

BY: Daily Graphic
We need an efficient Civil Service
We need an efficient Civil Service

The Civil Service of Ghana is established to assist governments in the formulation and implementation of policies for the development of the country. This suggests that the Civil Service is there to help any government elected by the people to put in place programmes that will help enhance the living standards of the people.

It is supposed to be independent of the government and composed mainly of professionals who are hired on merit and whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadership.

Therefore, if there is any institution that should be well resourced both in human and material terms, then the civil service comes tall among other establishments.

Yesterday, 500 civil servants were inducted into the service to help carry out the mandate of providing services to citizens and the government of the day. As these employees take office, the Daily Graphic reminds them that they have enormous duties to perform and they should discharge them with commitment and diligence. They must avoid the features of what have become common with civil servants that have eroded respect and trust for the service, such as corruption, nepotism, ethnicity, inefficiency, absenteeism and other negative work habits.

Members of the public have tales of experiences at the hands of civil servants. Our plea is that these should not be said of the new employees.

Even as we admonish the new employees to put the country first in whatever they do, we also ask management of the service to treat these new workers with respect and without partiality. These are some of the practices in the Civil Service that demoralise otherwise hardworking committed individuals. There have been instances where people have felt that promotions to higher positions have been skewed to favour certain individuals based on family ties, political party affiliation and other considerations.

It is common these days to hear complaints by civil servants about the incessant interference by political heads and office holders in the performance of their duties. We, therefore, appeal to our political authorities to extricate themselves and their activities from those of the Civil Service so that the service can be truly independent and professional to serve all people and every government.

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Our admonition to civil servants, however, is that they should remove any partisan cloak in the performance of their duties which makes politicians interfere in their work with a view to ensuring they have people whom they feel are sympathetic to their cause and will better help them deliver on their mandate.

We strongly advise civil servants to restrict themselves to their professional duties and endeavour to remain as neutral and non-partisan as possible. As much as the Daily Graphic will not condone the usurpation of the established order in the Civil Service by governments and the political order, we also caution that if civil servants are seen to be biased and partisan, governments in power will want to ensure they have their favourites at the helm of affairs.

We can have a Civil Service that can be neutral and effective, but all depends on the trust and respect its staff command by their professionalism, and political authorities desisting from interfering in the functions of the service.

If we want to see a good civil service that will catapult us to the level of development that we all envisage, then as a country, we must think about these things and collectively ensure that we have an establishment that is efficient, effective and professional.