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17.04.2007 General News

No Rush For Public Sector Reform - Nduom

No Rush For Public Sector Reform - Nduom

The Minister for Public Sector Reforms, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, has warned that the country risks dissipating the gains made over the years if it continues to rush the reforms in the public sector.
He said experience in the country and abroad had indicated that reforms were a long-term task which could only be achieved in a very long time.

Dr Nduom gave the warning at a durbar of stakeholders of public sector reforms in Accra yesterday.

“Reforms are being carried out in Italy, the UK, the USA, South Africa and in many other countries but we in Ghana are attempting to do in the space of a few decades what took hundreds of years in what is now the developed world,” he said.

He said a key lesson from the past was that the country should complete some short-term reforms successfully to encourage it to move on to long-term ones.

He said by moving through a series of phases, each of which would be built on the previous ones, the intention was to achieve sustainable reforms, while making changes in the performances of the public sector as each phase was completed.

“In this way, the overall duration of the programme is determined by the robustness of each phase and the time that it takes, rather than an arbitrary timeline,” the Minister stressed.

Dr Nduom said reforms required a long-term perspective because fundamental change demanded sustained effort, commitment and leadership over many generations and different political administration, adding, “What we have started in the Ministry of Public Sector Reforms is a continuous process.”

He said the initiative needed to be sustained over a long period of time to ensure that a new culture of timely and quality service delivery became the norm in the central Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMPAs).

The Minister stressed the need to maintain a Ministry which would act as the administrative and reform standard bearer for the public service and noted that other countries in the world had recognised that need and had acted to institute permanent and continuous reform as well as the maintenance of administrative standards.

Dr Nduom announced that he had made proposals to transform the Ministry of Public Sector Reforms to become the Ministry of Public Service, with a new Minister, to the President.

Mrs Victoria Cooper-Enchia, a consultant on pay reform, said the national job analysis exercise was gathering information on more than 1,500 different jobs across the public sector, with an estimated 8,000 job holders providing information on the jobs they were engaged in.

She said jobs had been selected from more than 100 MDAs and public sector institutions funded from the Consolidated Fund.

The Executive Secretary of Civil Servants Association of Ghana, Mr Smart Chigabatia, lauded the government for instituting the reform and said it had brought dignity and respect to civil servants.

He was optimistic that the Civil Service would soon change to attract more people to the sector.