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06.11.2007 General News

Local Government Service To Begin In December

More than 33,000 public servants are to be transferred from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Local Government Service when it becomes operational by the end of December.
Mr Joe Issachar, Head of Civil Service, said the government had indicated its position to launch the service to speed up decentralisation and provide efficient and reliable service to the public.
Addressing heads of public institutions, District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region yesterday, Mr Issachar said with the coming into force of the Local Government Service, the Civil Service was going to be pruned to about 10,000 workers to provide essential services at the head offices of the MDAs.   'We are going to have a lean Civil Service with the requisite expertise to serve as a think-tank for the government.
Mr Issachar said the Civil Service was reviewing its structures, vision and mission in order to refocus its mandate to provide efficient services to the public.  He said there was the need for a strong public service to support the government to succeed in its quest to obtain a middle income status for the nation.
Mr Issachar said the government as well as the people of Ghana expected a lot from public servants and urged the heads of public organisations to put in mechanism that would help improve the performance of their work. He said the government had initiated some measures under the public reforms programme to improve the delivery of public sector workers.
These include the introduction of pay reforms, new pension scheme and training programmes to build the managerial and leadership capabilities of public servants.
Nana Boakye Danquah, Chairman of the Local Government Service, said under the new local government service, departments were going to be created to perform functions which were hitherto, performed in the headquarters of the MDAs at the district levels. He said each of the municipal assemblies would have 13 departments, 11 for the district assemblies and 16 for the metropolitan assemblies.
Nana Danquah said the major direction of the decentralisation exercise was to move action from Accra to the districts and that the future of the country depended on the development of local levels where majority of the people lived.
Mr Samuel Owusu Adjei, Minister for Public Sector Reforms, said the main objective of the public sector reforms was to raise efficiency of the public sector to deliver quality services to the people. He said service delivery was very important in the performance of MDAs and urged the heads to ensure greater supervision to change the image of the Service.
Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said reforms in the past had failed the nation and expressed the hope that the new local government service would serve as a pedestal for decentralisation.