Many Chief Directors lack courage and competence

Participants in a group picture
Participants in a group picture

The Civil Service lacks effective leadership, a situation that was brought about by a number of factors, the most important being the lack of courage and competence of many Chief Directors and Directors.

 Participants in a group picture
Participants in a group picture

Mrs Bridget Katsriku, Chairperson of the Public Services Commission, said political polarization, patronage, and the fear of incurring the displeasure of political leadership, had created a situation where civil service leadership could not live up to the values of the service.

She said the lack of supervision in the civil service, could be argued, as a symptom of a deeper malaise, adding that the civil service was expected to be politically neutral, transparent, accountable, and with a high sense of integrity.

Mrs Katsriku made the observation on Monday in Accra during the opening ceremony of a five-day Induction Course for newly appointed Chief Directors from the various Ministries.

The seminar was under the auspices of the Danish Government.

She said: ?Chief Directors often give the type of advice that they believe would please the political leadership sometimes because of the fear of reprisals.?

She urged them to review the status-quo, and boldly strategize to transform the civil service into a service whose actions were transparent, fair and neutral, and to be leaders of a service which was held accountable for its actions.

?You must not be care-takers by maintaining the status-quo, but be leaders who would work with such passion that you leave your Ministries in a better state, with improved service delivery culture than you met them.

?This entails exercising your own high personal integrity, managing in a transparent manner, maintaining very high standards of dignity and confidence and above all, being truthful, calling a spade a spade, and being able to tell truth to power,? Mrs Katsriku stated.

She said integrity was the most important value that leads to success; whereas the compromise of integrity leads to corruption in all its forms, indiscipline, and collapse of institutions.

She warned state institutions to desist from by-passing their respective Chief Directors in their dealing with sector ministers, explaining that reports that were submitted directly to the Ministers sometimes ended up not receiving the needed attention.

Mrs Katsriku said: ?Accountability to government may, therefore, be lost and it is no wonder that as a result of lack of supervision, many public service agencies have over the years, established unacceptable culture of tolerance for corruption, blatant looting, indiscipline, abuse of office and gross disregard sometimes for human life.

?The sheer magnitude of attitudinal decay, corruption, lack of accountability, indiscipline and unethical behaviour and conduct, have become institutionalized norms in the public service.

?Taking bribes before providing services for which we are being paid is now the norm in many of our institutions,? she said.

She said because each ministry had a number of departments and agencies under it, Chief Directors, in consultation with their Ministries and Agencies must develop mechanisms that would ensure regular supervision of agencies to promote transparency and accountability and the expected performance.

Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Minister for Trade and Industry, urged the Chief Directors to be abreast with ICT, and to be bold enough to point out errors to the Ministers.

Mr Roger Angsomwine, Secretary to Cabinet, said Ghana today needs men and women of integrity who dare to dream and inspire major reforms to ensure the administrative wing of the political system regains its place of pride as real centre of activity, while giving true meaning to the fundamental principles of political neutrality.

Nana Agyekum Dwamena, Acting Head of the Civil Service, said it is in recognition of the primary importance of the human capital that the Office of the Head of Civil Service is emphasizing on the need for the implementation of a broad-based training and development policy.

He said it would enable ministries, departments and agencies plan and administer on a continuous basis relevant and appropriate interventions towards effective service delivery.

Dr Robert Dodoo, Chairman of the Civil Service Council, advised the Chief Directors that ?the role of the civil service in policy formulation and management is the key deliverable, and should not be glossed over as you take charge of your organizations.

Mrs Margit Thomsen, Danish Ambassador in Ghana, gave the assurance that her country would continue to support the strengthening of the civil service, as part of efforts to deepen good governance in the country.

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