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30.10.2007 General News

No more bribery, kickbacks

Minister of Public Sector Reforms has warned that bribery, kickbacks or any form of recompense given or taken for service rendered by a public servant is a serious offence under the New Charter.

Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei warned on Tuesday that any public servant caught taking money from a member of the public for any service rendered would be sanctioned accordingly.

He gave the warning at a joint Steering Committee meeting of the Ministry to review performances of 2007, and said the New Charter has put in place a system of reward and sanctions for public servants.

The goal of the Charter is to make the country's public service more, efficient, responsive and accountable.

Mr Owusu-Agyei said to effectively implement and apply the principles of the Charter, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Municipal and District Assemblies have been asked to establish Charter Units to address the issues well.

He said when the new single spine pay structure, the electronic governance and other reforms have been effectively implemented, there would be no need for clients to come into contact with public servants for services to be rendered.

Mr Owusu-Agyei said soon the Ministry would embark on a public education on the Charter.

At a training course organised for Directors of MDAs last week, the Minister intimated that a policy framework would be developed by the Ministry to support MDAs as well as engender commitment to their mission statements, assign employees to meaningful work and to restructure their process and procedures.

He said civil servants ought to work hard to consolidate and speed the pace of service delivery, noting that collective performance would be measured against standards.

"Independent surveys of clients' perception and assessment of the performance of our public institutions will be conducted at least once a year and the results publicised," Mr Owusu-Agyei said.

Giving an overview of performance of the public sector reforms, Mrs Rebecca Amoo-Aboagye, Chief Director of the Ministry said the first and second phases of the process had laid the foundations for responsiveness, accountability and good governance.