Blay: Public service must remain neutral
Mr. Freddie Blay, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has emphasized the need for the public services to remain neutral at all times and not be tainted by partisan politics.
He said the role of the public service in the strategic day-to-day functions of government required that it be independent and insulated from the influence of partisan politics.
Mr. Blay was speaking at a ceremony to mark the 2008 Africa Public Service Day and President's Excellence Awards for Innovation in the Public Services on Monday.
It was on the theme: “From Policy to Results-Based Implementation.”
Mr. Blay said while the public service had undergone several reforms over the years in response to global developments, its traditional values were still being challenged by globalization, liberalization and Information and Communication Technology.
He said globalization and communication technology had transformed the provision of all kinds of services in the world economy, necessitating the need for adaptation, use of new techniques of service delivery and methodologies.
Mr Blay said the public service could not insulate itself from the global phenomenon and its impact and stressed the need for it to adapt appropriately and take advantage of the innovations to remain relevant to the continent's development aspirations.
In reference to Ghana's quest to attain a middle income status by 2015, Mr Blay called on the leadership of the public service to ensure its transformation into a modern and flexible instrument of development, which could apply sound management principles and uphold the core values of good governance.
There must also be efforts to enhance the capacity of the service in the areas of policy analysis, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review.
In addition, it should encourage competition and build partnership with the private sector for the management of the economy and sustainable development.
Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Minister of Public Sector Reform, said to date 55 public service institutions had developed new charters and established client services units in the Ministry's bid to enhance service delivery.
He said the new Civil Service Law had been reviewed and awaiting Cabinet approval for onward submission to Parliament.
There is also in place a new performance management guideline.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei said the President's Excellence Awards for Innovation in the Public Services were designed to recognize and reward outstanding achievements by public sector institutions and promote and inspire best management practices that would result in continuous improvement in work place productivity.
The awards are aimed at institutions, which have made imaginative and cost effective interventions in their respective areas of operations.
As part of the ceremony to mark Africa Day of Public Service, nine public institutions received the President's Excellence Awards for Innovation.
The institutions are the Community Water and Sanitation Agency of the Ministry of Water Resources and Works and Housing; Ministry of Health – Ghana Health Service (PPME); University of Ghana – Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems; Judicial Service – Commercial Court and University of Ghana Dental School.
The rest are the Ghana Police Service – Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DVVSU); Ministry of Fisheries; Judicial Service – Private Court Process Servers Scheme and Ministry of Health – Public Health Division.
They each received computers and plaques.