Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Advisor to the President last week launched new charters that would task eight Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to improve public service delivery systems.
Speaking at the launch said, She said, “The novel and ingenious initiative of President John Agyekum Kufuor is aimed at arresting the widespread irritations, frustration and desperation encountered by the public when they come into contact with public agencies.”
Without seeking to be irreverent or blasphemous, we say a big Amen to that! Service delivery all round, not just in the public agencies alone leaves very much to be desired. Some services in the private sector are even worse.
The government's initiative is therefore very welcome indeed but, and this is a big but, unless the government can have a very strong deterring component, the initiative could as well be taken as stillborn.
What we are driving is this: To make such an initiative work, there is the need to have a strong man or woman, with enough clout and resources to lead what essentially is a crusade. The person must have the power to penalize any institution or individual that defaults in the expected service delivery standard and reward those that deliver.
Let's take lateness to work and absenteeism for example; these are two major culprits that contribute to the poor service delivery we have in the public agencies. You cannot deal with these with kid gloves.
They have to be punched out of the way! The Campaign for Greater Discipline instituted by the Vice President in the first term of the NPP Administration floundered mainly because there was no deterring component. These service delivery charters would go the same way unless there is someone to direct and give them the absolutely essential public face of seriousness.