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30.10.2007 Editorial

Chartering New Course

By

There are no misgivings about the sincerity of President John Agyekum Kufuor in making the age-long “go-slow” in the public service an item of history.

The official rhetoric about the effects of the delay in processing in particular, land documents among many others, has given way to practicality, with the President operationalising a Charter which seeks to reverse the anomaly.

Over the years speaker after speaker, politician after politician have bemoaned the trend, but none has taken any practical step to restore excellence in service delivery based on the values of quality of service, productivity, innovation, transparency, discipline, accountability and professionalism.

Kufuor's action is yet another legacy to join the catalogue of his achievements and we are convinced it would make a positive difference in the way we manage such matters in both the civil and public service.

It is saddening to note the tones of desperation and hopelessness from people who suffer from the anomalous situation when they seek the intervention of the public service machinery.

The situation is even more painful when Ghanaians living abroad who respond to our SOS invitations to come and invest in the country fall victims to the excruciating inconveniences created by the antiquated and useless bottlenecks in our public service system.

The cries and whining of victims of the ado of the public service create what for us is the erroneous impression that the situation cannot be reversed.

Mr. President has proved to the rest of his compatriots that the trend can indeed be reversed and we associate ourselves unflinchingly with the position.

Many lofty programmes have been churned out by successive governments over the years but these have met their deaths at the hands of nauseating bottlenecks in our public service machinery.

The President's Charter is a presidential statement that the country can no longer tolerate the sickening trend, whose negative effects on our forward march cannot be overemphasized.

The success story of Europe and others in the other hemisphere is attributable to the new approaches to managing state affairs.

If we want to be part of such a new world where undue public delays are non-existent, then we must subscribe to the President's new deal, and pronto.

There is no opportune time than now for the action of the President in signing the Charter to chart a new course in our way of doing things in officialdom.

In a country which has showed utmost interest in joining the rest of the progressive world in a number of ways, especially in the economic and business spheres, the role of such a Charter cannot be glossed over.

The Gateway concept was adopted to allow for an enhanced business environment and to make Ghana position herself as a channel for business into the rest of the West African sub-region.

Such a business dream will certainly not be feasible when such antiquated ideas and ways of doing things are allowed to continue to blossom.

The agreement between a given public service agency and the public through which trust and confidence in the public service will be built and sustained, which is the bedrock of the Charter can only be realized through discipline.

Members of the public can only have confidence and trust in the public service only when they discern a marked departure from the appalling status quo.

When the customers of a public service agency are moved from the periphery to the centre, we would have arrived at the Promised Land of trust and confidence in the Public Service and above all a new Ghana.

As the Charter is operationalised, we call on our compatriots to join in making it register the desired positive impact on our lives as a people.

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