CHIEF Directors (CDs) of various ministries yesterday signed the 2015 Performance Agreement with their ministers to ensure efficiency, and enhanced service delivery by the Civil Service.
The annual ritual exercise aims at ensuring that government business is delivered in an efficient and effective manner to meet the expectations of citizens.
It was witnessed by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Jonny Osei Kofi; Head of the Civil Service(HCS), Nana Akwasi Agyekum Dwanena; Dr Robert Dodoo, chairman of Civil Service Council, and Bridget Katsriku, chairperson of the Public Service Council and Tina Guthrie, Minister Counsellor at the Canadian High Commission.
The Head of the Civil Service, Nana Dwamena said that an evaluation of the 2014 performance contract indicated that out of the 24 CDs, three were ranked excellent, eight as very good, nine as good and four unsatisfactory.
Nana Dwamena who did not disclose the identities of the CDs said the “report would be further thoroughly studied and the recommendations therein implemented”.
He said the performance agreement was a clear demonstration of the government’s support and commitment to ensuring that the requisite measures were instituted for improvements in the Civil Service’s work systems and processes towards the achievement of both sector goals and the national development agenda.
Nana Dwamena urged the CDs to carefully review the work assigned to staff to ensure that quality was not compromised.
He quoted from a document, ‘Towards a new Public Service for Ghana’ which noted that civil servants at lower levels would never perform to acceptable standards unless they were led by an elite corps of senior officers who also accept responsibility for the performance of the entire work force under their command.
The HCS, through the Civil Service Training Centre and GLINKS/Department for International Development, has developed and begun the roll out training programme on evidence-informed policy making aimed at building the capacities of civil servants in rigorous policy formulation process.
He said a technocratic committee of Cabinet had been formed to support the Cabinet Secretariat to clean up memos from ministries that did not meet the standards, adding that a home-grown reform programme was also being evolved.
The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, in a speech read on his behalf, noted that the Civil Service was indispensable in the government’s efforts at achieving its mandate as it provided the instruments for translating ideas into workable plans, objectives and activities.
He said the changing society and the rising expectations of the citizenry for better and faster service delivery had become more complex and that “Civil Service cannot afford to be insensitive to these changes and expectations”.
The Chief of Staff urged civil servants to stay to the principles of professionalism, excellence, transparency, accountability, loyalty, neutrality and selflessness which govern their work.
“You must strive to expunge the negative behaviours and attitudes exhibited by some staff which tarnish the image of the service. It is only by so doing that the Civil Service can begin to take its rightful place and earn respect and recognition in the business of nation building,” he added.
Ms Guthrie said the next three years would not be an easy year for Chief Directors and the Civil Service in general because they had a critical role to play in achieving the country’s bail out programme with the International Monetary Fund, to restore the macro-economic stability.
Mrs Katsriku urged the CDs “to think outside the box” and within the law to deliver on their mandates in order to leave a legacy that they would be remembered for, saying that CDs should not be like “passers-by” at their ministries.
Dr Dodoo urged CDs to develop innovative strategies to circumvent challenges facing their work and commended the CDs for the successes they had achieved in their various ministries.
Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang urged her colleagues to offer the best of service to the citizens and also stressed on the need to support the work of the CDs by retraining them to enhance their service delivery.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman