Three Institutions on Tuesday received the maiden President's Excellence Awards introduced by the Government to recognise and reward outstanding innovations and achievements within the public services. They are the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PPMED) both of the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Through imaginative, innovative and cost effective interventions, the three have delivered positive results with the CWSA for example, having succeeded within the past five years, with the removal of high levels of iron and manganese from ground water in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions, making it safe to drink from about 1,000 boreholes sunk in those areas.
The GHS and the PPMED, on their part were rewarded for the increased access to quality health services and the significant reduction of measles in the country with no death recorded since 2005. The awards were in two categories: "Innovative Service Delivery Improvement" and "Innovative Partnership between Governments, Private Sector and Civil Organisations."
The CWSA picked Gold in the Innovative Service Delivery Improvement category with the Silver going to the GHS. The ultimate in the Innovative Partnership between Governments, Private Sector and Civil Organisations went to the PPMED. President Kufuor said it was part of the motivation to promote high performance standards and inspire competition within the public services by way of best management practices.
He said the fashion now was for states to use entrepreneurship approach, not in terms of profit making but efficiency in service delivery to meet targeted goals.
He said it was on the basis of this that the Government was determined to motivate the public sector and encourage the individual public servants to stand out in the running of the state. President Kufuor said the awards would not be limited to only institutions and that individuals who drive the innovations that lead to improved public performance would also be honoured. He praised the Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom for the good job he was doing, which he said, had given justification for the creation of the Ministry.
Earlier, the Minister said the award winners would be entered in the Africa and the United Nations (UN) competitions. He highlighted changes going on in the public services as a result of the launch of the comprehensive public sector reform and expressed optimism that there was a better future for those who chose to work with the service.
Dr Nduom noted that the appointment of Chief Directors had brought stability to the public services.
Dr Albert Boohene, Chairman of the Health Service Council, asked the CWSA, GHS and the PPMED to continue to improve the ground water and intensify the mass immunisation to totally eradicate guinea worm infestation and measles from the country.