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25.10.2007 General News

Local Government Service To Be Business Oriented - Council

The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies under the proposed Local Government Service are to assume the character of fully-grown business entities after a five- year transition period, Nana Boakye Danquah, Chairman of the Local Government Service Council has stated.
Briefing senior civil servants in the Volta region on the proposed Local Government Service, which comes into effect in December this year, Nana Danquah said Ghana's Local Government Service must function as its counterparts in developed countries, where institutions were responsible for much of the developments in those countries.
'The picture is to conceive of Assemblies (Metropolitan and Municipal and District Assemblies) as business corporations run by DCEs or MCEs as Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) having the power to hire and fire personnel', Nana Danquah said.  He said the Assemblies would have to think strategically and wean themselves off the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Nana Danquah said the expectation was that the Assemblies should develop the capacity to enter into the financial market to raise funds to finance projects capable of generating income for the development of their areas and for recruiting, training and retaining professional staff.
He said each Metropolitan Assembly under the Local Government Service would have between 16 to 18 departments, Municipal Assemblies 13 departments and District Assemblies 11 departments.
Nana Danquah said a number of departments would be merged and others scrapped and all their personnel would be directly responsible to their respective Chief Executives rather than to regional and national heads most of which would cease to exist in the current form.  He said there would be close collaboration between the Assemblies and other agencies, which would not be under the Local Government Service.
Nana Danquah said financial support from the Assemblies to those agencies would be premised on the Assemblies being privy to their budgets.
The Head of Civil Service, Mr Joe Donkor Issachar, asserted that the development of the country depended on the quality of service rendered by the Service.  He said complaints against the Civil Service by politicians stemmed from their desire to achieve positive results within their limited mandate hence the need for the Service to be in tune with that mood.
Mr Issachar said while there were genuine reasons for the seeming non-performance, 'there are problems with our staff such as late attendance and early departure from office due to the generally poor supervision'. 'It looks like we have lost control of our staff', he told the senior civil servants.
He however admitted that the generally poor state of equipment, logistics and conditions of service constituted major disincentives for quality performance, which the Public Service Reform seeks to correct.