Nana Aboagye Dankwa, chairman of the Civil Service Council, yesterday announced the inauguration of a new local government service by December this year, to enhance the decentralisation process and development in the country.
He observed that development at the district level was crucial and if the districts remained in their current state of development, Ghana would not be able to achieve its dream of attaining middle-income status.
Nana Dankwa said these when he and Mr Joe Issakah, head of the Civil Service, met heads of department from the Central Region, in Cape Coast. The meeting was to identify problems facing the heads of department and to solicit their views on the proposed creation of a new service.
Nana Dankwa said the legislative instrument on the new service would be put before parliament to be passed into law by December. He said initially, about 17 department and agencies of the current civil service with about 33,000 workers would be placed under the new service,.
Nana Dankwa said the new service would assist in making decentralisation more meaningful to people at the grassroots. He said the various departments would be expected to work directly under the Regional Co-ordinating Councils (RCCs) and district assemblies. He said departments earmarked to work under the RCCs would include the Town and Country Planning, Births and Deaths, Works, Finance, Cooperatives and Parks and Gardens.
Nana Dankwa said the departments of social welfare, agriculture, transport, trade and industry and tourism would fall under the assemblies. He said the creation of departments of human resource and women would also be considered in the future.
Nana Dankwa explained that the innovations were not aimed at punishing anyone, but to make the Civil Service 'lean,' to enable it perform efficiently.
Mr Issakah said for the country to achieve middle-income status, there was the need for civil servants, who were the major implementers of government policies and programme to work efficiently. He expressed concern about the negative work attitude of some workers and noted that even though some of them went to work late they were the first to leave the office.
Mr Issakah said 'You approach work lazily, in fact there is general laxity in what you do. This cannot take us to the middle-income status.' He acknowledged that workers were facing enormous problems including inadequate equipment, poor working conditions and the lack of training, which needed to be tackled.
Mr Issakah said a 'citizen focused' new civil service law would be promulgated to enable workers concentrate on the welfare and development of the people.