The quest to deliver quality services to the citizens in Ghana has been of major concern for successive governments and the citizenry.
Many Ghanaians have expressed their frustration about the working culture of public sector institutions, especially on delays in the delivery of services to the people. This article specifically focused on the development of the Public Sector Reform for Results Project and its implementation status.
In line with Article 36 (5) of the 1992 Constitution, the new government in 2017 initiated the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024) in conformity with the preparation of the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (2018-2021) to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
This indicates that the policy framework concentrated on improving leadership for effective management of public policy and administration, strengthening the capacity of public sector institutions to deliver efficiently on public goods and services, reviewing and realigning the mandate of public institutions to eliminate conflicting functions among other reforms.
Regarding the improvement of service delivery among public sector institutions, the government developed the National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) 2018-2023 by reviewing the previous reforms and introducing a wide range of changes and innovations.
The strategy was developed by a team of civil servants, academia, and technical experts under the supervision of the then Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo and coordinated by the CEO of the Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), Mr. Thomas Kusi Boafo. The goal of the NPSRS (2018-2023) was to achieve “enhanced public service delivery to citizens and the private sector”.
Public Sector Reform for Results Project
Based on the successful launch of the NPSRS (2018-2023) , the government initiated a project in collaboration with the World Bank Group to partially support the implementation of the NPSRS with a credit facility of US$32million for the development and implementation of a four-year Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP) 2019-2023.
The project objective is; “Improving efficiency and accountability in the delivery of selected services by Selected Entities”.
The 13 beneficiary entities are the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Passport Office, Births and Deaths Registry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Local Government Decentralization and Rural Development, Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS), Public Services Commission, Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Secretariat; National Information Technology Agency and Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), the implementing agency.
Implementation Status of PSRRP
The selected entities developed their proposals for the implementation of their reform activities. Following the proposals submitted in 2020, it was imperative to procure vehicles, motorbikes, and ICT equipment to enable them to improve their service delivery and enhance their systems and processes, especially at the local level.
Births and Deaths Registry
The Births and Deaths Registry received ten double cabin pickups and 120 motorbikes to expand the coverage of their services and facilitate mobile registration of births and deaths across the country, especially in under-resourced areas in the newly created regions for timely services and to gather updated information for local and national records.
These have benefited them greatly by increasing their registration process across the country with the year 2020 recording 68% whilst 70% of their target was achieved in 2021.
Again, 6 of the 12-seater minibusses were procured for the DVLA which were fitted with licensing equipment to support the innovative Tertiary Drive (TERTDRIVE) programme.
The programme sought to provide a convenient opportunity for tertiary students to acquire a valid driver’s license before graduating. Since the presentation, DVLA has improved its services with the TERTDRIVE programme wherein in 2021, 2,319 students registered to write the driver’s license theory test and out of that 1,996 passed the practical driving test and have successfully been issued licenses.
Modern ICT equipment for the Selected Entities
Some selected entities also benefited from ICT equipment to enable them to work remotely, particularly during the Covid-19 period in 2020. The equipment was to support the upgrade and modernize their service delivery and administrative procedures across the regional capitals of Ghana.
CHRAJ: The equipment presented were; 19 desktop computers, 19 laptop computers, 25 printers, 23 photocopy machines, 18 projectors, 20 digital voice recorders, 24 scanners, 20 internet routers, and others.
The equipment has supported CHRAJ to initiate the process of revamping its ICT systems in its offices across the country especially in the six newly created regions to provide modern technology and improve their services. CHRAJ can attest that the equipment has greatly supported them to facilitate their administrative processes in quite a faster and more timely.
OHCS: As a beneficiary entity on the project, OHCS received some equipment such as third-party internet service including 30 internet routers for their offices. This was procured to help improve the processing of staff data through online recruitment and online promotional interviews including training programmes, in the years 2020 and 2021.
From this support, OHCS has successfully held two rounds of graduate online examinations for candidates. In the year 2020, out of the 20,537 applicants, 1,641 were recruited and online promotion interviews were organized for 1,707 officers from various classes in the Civil Service. Hitherto, applicants and staff were required to travel long distances to write recruitment examinations and attend promotional interviews in Accra.
It is obvious that the reforms initiated are providing some improvement in the delivery of services to the citizens. More importantly, there are several ongoing reform activities relating to the selected entities that would be covered in the next article.
The PSRRP would largely support the advancement of modern technology on the systems, processes and procedures of the selected entities for easier and faster access to service delivery to the citizens across the country.
The implementing agency in collaboration with the World Bank Team, would continue to facilitate the continuous improvement and achieve real-time results for the benefit of the country.
BY Ernest Zume, Communication Specialist for the PSRRP & PRO, Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor