14.12.2007 General News

Public Servants Play Key Role In Policy Making - Minister

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Mr Samuel Owusu- Agyei, Minister for Public Sector Reform, has observed that public servants have a key role to play in shaping policy and delivering services. He noted that it was, therefore, necessary to commit much time, energy and human resources management to improve the performance of public service.

Mr Owusu-Agyei was addressing the opening of a three-day Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region last Wednesday.

The conference being attended by 400 delegates selected from all over the country including some observers from Nigeria was under the theme: 'Public Sector Reforms - The Role of the Public Service Workers'.

He said the goal of the country was to achieve a middle-income status by 2015 and this required the delivery of efficient and cost-effective public services to improve the living conditions of the poor.

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Efutu, stressed the need to build the capacity of the service to provide approved, timely, transparent and productive services to the Executive branch of government- particularly to give advisory support to Ministers of State and the Presidency.

Mr Owusu-Agyei stated that as part of the reform, the Ministry has established Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to ensure fair, transparent and consistent implementation of the Public Sector Pay Policy.

He noted that in order to achieve the objectives of the reform, it had developed Pay policy and Administration Reform, Organisational Restructuring of the Civil Service and development of training programme as well as Human Resource framework for the Service.

Other measures included Service Delivery Improvement in selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies Decentralisation and implementation of Sub-vented Agencies Law of Act 706 and the restructuring of central management Agencies.

Mr A.T.D Okine, General-Secretary of the PSWU, said the need for realistic pay for the public sector employees had long been identified but unfortunately successive governments had been reluctant to implement the right wage policy

He noted that for the last four years the Government through the National Tripartite Committee reintroduced the End of Service Benefits (ESB) but unfortunately said, the union had not been able to make any headway in actualizing it in the various Collective Bargaining Agreements and urged the Ministry of Finance and Economic planning to implement that directive,

He emphasized the role of the public sector in the development of the nation and appealed to the Government to resource it well, to enable it to play a meaningful role in nation building.

Mr Samuel Mensah-Nyarko, Out-going National Chairman of the Union, who chaired the function, appealed to the delegates to use the occasion to evaluate their performance and to adopt effective and pragmatic strategies to improve on them.

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