The leadership of Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has raised concerns about what they described as “politicisation” of the civil service, with the recruitment of people outside the machinery to serve as special assistants and consultants to ministers.

They are of the view that the civil service has the competence and the skills to execute their job to achieve the vision and mission of the various Ministries, Agencies and Departments. To them, there is no need to recruit people from outside the machinery.

They contend that engaging special assistants at the neglect of the civil service machinery has the tendency to undermine the efforts of the civil servants.

The concerns of the CLOGSAG have attracted the attention of some civil society organisations as well as the Minority Caucus in Parliament. The Ghanaian Times wishes to call for circumspection in the ongoing debate about the concerns raised, so that the debate would not be caught up in politics and eventually lose its essence.

We believe that the Civil Service has built an institutional memory over the years and the personnel manning the various ministries, agencies and departments are doing their best to run the machinery of government.

Yes, they have the competencies and the skills to carry out any job assigned them. They are also specialised agencies and their job requires that they remain politically neutral to serve any government irrespective of the ideology of the party in government. By their nature, civil servants have the capabilities to implement any policy of the government. Indeed, they must make it work, so no excuse!

We note with concern that some of the civil servants have compromised their political neutrality and some politicians view them with political lenses. Consequently, some ministers appear uncomfortable with some personnel within the service and want to replace them with people they trust. So, we see some amount of politicisation in the rather politically neutral environment.

We have heard some explanations coming from the Head of the Civil Service that some ministers, being politicians have engaged extra hands to deal with the political wing of their jobs.  The explanation sounds plausible, given that the minister is a political figure and needs to satisfy the political aspect of his job.

The other explanation offered by the Head of the Civil Service that some ministers engage the services of special assistants as requirement from the World Bank needs some clarity.

The explanation is not too convincing because the World Bank consultants come on board not with superior specialised knowledge that is lacking in the civil service machinery.

The truth is that some of these consultants come to rely on the specialised knowledge and other logistics available within the ministry, agency or the department they are engaged to execute their jobs.

So, therefore, the civil servants become disillusioned, dissatisfied and thus do not give off their best. This does not auger well for the effective and efficient government machinery.

In asmuch as we appreciate the engagement of special assistant and consultant as value addition, we are of the view that it should not be done at the expense of already existing competent civil servants.




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