Don’t be accomplices in corrupt practices - Chief of Staff urges Public Service boards

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
 Nana Otuo Siriboe II (middle), the Paramount Chief of Asante-Juaben Traditional  Area, and other members of the board. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI
Nana Otuo Siriboe II (middle), the Paramount Chief of Asante-Juaben Traditional  Area, and other members of the board. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

The Chief of Staff, Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has urged members of the governing boards and councils of public service organisations to put away their individual differences and work together for the growth of their organisations and the development of Ghana.

She bemoaned conflicts between boards, councils and the chief executives, as well as personal parochial interests which culminated in the retrogression of work.

In a speech read on her behalf yesterday at the opening of a two-day orientation programme for members of the governing boards, councils and chief executives of the various public service organisations, Mrs. Osei-Opare urged them to ensure accountability to stakeholders and provide leadership for the furtherance of government business.

The programme, the first in a series for governing boards, councils and chief executives of all public service organisations was on the theme "Good governance practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of governing boards and councils".

Pandemic

The emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic, she said, had dire consequences on all sectors of the world’s economy, stressing that it was essential for members of the governing boards and councils of public service organisations to be innovative for the growth of their organisations.

The virus, she said, had negatively affected public health and safety, infrastructure, security, social protection, education, housing delivery, labour and every element of societal well-being in many parts of the world.

As a result, she said, the pandemic had impacted people's livelihoods negatively, as resources meant for development were being diverted to address the spread of the virus.

She said, however, that although the pandemic had resulted in skill gaps and job losses it had provided economic opportunities that would require creative and innovative governance to put the economies back on track.

Mrs. Osei-Opare said, the government had undertaken innovative actions to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the lives of the citizens and the economy.

Some of the measures which had ensured the protection of the country's workforce and the smooth running of business and organisations, she said, included the nationwide disinfection and fumigation exercise of work environments and other public places, the establishment of the national unemployment insurance scheme, the introduction of the COVID-19 alleviation and revitalisation of enterprise support, among others.

"You are expected to handle transactions in a forthright, frank and open manner; exhibit utmost integrity in the discharge of your work. You must avoid exhibiting double standards and misinformation. I encourage you to resist fraudulent practices and not to be accomplices in any form of corrupt practices".

Role of boards

The Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe, also stressed the need for the members to cooperate in the delivery of their mandate by working as a team and avoiding turf wars in the board rooms.

"We do not want to dissolve a board because members were just not getting along. Sometimes, it is about trivial issues," he said.

Nana Siriboe, who is also the Paramount Chief of Asante Juaben, urged the members of the boards, councils and chief executives to remain true stewards of corporate accountability through their actions.

The Chairman of the Public Services Commission, Dr. Janet Ampadu Fofie, said the comprehensive orientation was to facilitate the easy on boarding of new members of the various boards and also help members reflect on what was expected of them as members and chairs of the various boards and councils.