A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), Dr. S. K. Asibuo, says the law on causing financial loss must stay permanently in the country's statute books because it does not threaten any public officer even when he/she makes mistakes as the emphasis is on wilfully causing financial loss.
He added that public or civil servants need to demonstrate more commitment to work so that those responsible for monitoring and evaluation and other related assignments would be severally sanctioned for lapses and poor work.
Dr. Asibuo said this when he presented a paper on the need for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in Public Administration.
He noted that there is the need to reorient the attitude of public servants generally on the need to ensure that performance culture permeates the public service system. This, he said can be facilitated by improved conditions of service for civil servants.
He said to ensure the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation, there is the need to engage the services of independent bodies apart from the structures and units within the public service to undertake M&E on behalf of the government.
"Government can also set up a task force, including personnel from the Audit Service, Serious Fraud Office and other competent professionals to monitor government projects".
The Senior Lecturer said the preoccupation with the preservation of the status quo, undoubtedly is one of the major reasons for the failure to implement fundamental reforms.
This he added is because public officials and other professionals constitute a privileged group that is resistant to change and reluctant to experiment and be innovative.
He explained that other challenges include low capacity for planning and implementation of policy programmes and projects, poor working environment, inadequate tools, offices in bad state of repair, overcrowding, in effective leadership and real management and shortage of skilled manpower.
According to him it is in the light of these challenges that the Presidential Committee on the revitalization of the Civil Service in 2002, concluded that in its current state the Service is not capable of delivering the development agenda of the government unless radical measures are taken to improve it.
He maintained that some public administrators possess the requisite knowledge and skills but unfortunately, their lackadaisical attitude towards work leaves much to be desired and affects achieving results.
“A major factor in our independent progress is that we have refused to adopt interventions to change our work and economic practices which the newly industrialized countries, including China today, and Japan much earlier adopted”, he added.
Credit: The Chronicle