04.03.2005 General News

Committee appointed to review Public Service salaries

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Accra, March 4, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has appointed a Committee to work on the salaries, allowances and other privileges of public officers, including Superior Court Judges.

The Committee has been tasked to perform its mandate speedily in order that within the constraints of the economy, the Government can improve conditions of service of the Judiciary.

President Kufuor, who announced this said Ghanaians had expected dignified conduct and professional competence from the Judiciary, but unfortunately, the current unattractive conditions of service tend to subvert the realisation of this expectation.

"I have therefore, in accordance with Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution, appointed a Committee to work on salaries, allowances and other privileges of public officers including Superior Court Judges", he said.

President Kufuor was speaking at the inauguration of a two million-dollar three storey Commercial Courts Building Complex for the Judicial Service in Accra on Friday.

The six Courts with the status of a High Court were designed, constructed and furnished by DANIDA to promote efficient, speedy and effective determination of commercial disputes.

President Kufuor commended the Judiciary for playing their role in national development through the dispensation of justice despite the constraining conditions in which they work.

He also commended the Government of Denmark for sponsoring the training of Judges, registrar and the administrator of the Court, both locally and at the commercial courts of Uganda, Tanzania, Denmark and London to adequately prepare them for the work ahead of the commercial courts.

Mr J. Ayikoo Otoo, Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the frustrations, which investors and foreigners went through did not augur well for the country's investment drive.

He said unfortunately it was not because Ghanaian judges were not prepared to work but because they were overwhelmed by the number of cases, which they had to deal with and therefore, end up finding it difficult to manage.

Mr Flemming Bjork Pedersen, Danish Ambassador in Ghana said the Ghana-Denmark development cooperation covered several areas that included improvement in the private sector because a vibrant private sector was necessary for economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

He said a sound commercial dispute resolution system was essential, a system without undue delays because there was a dis-incentive to invest if mechanisms to enforce contracts left much to be desired.

Mr Pedersen was optimistic that the commercial court would prove to be an institution where business agreements were enforced in a transparent, objective and speedy manner.

"An effective institution of this kind will increase investor confidence", he added.

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