CLOSSAG to go to court over appointment of public officers

Mr.Isaac Bampoe Addo

Mr.Isaac Bampoe Addo

The Civil and Local Government Staff of Ghana (CLOSSAG), has threatened legal action to enforce the law that to regulates and mandates the Public Services Commission (PSW) to play a role in the appointment of  public officers.

The PSW by the provision of the 1992 Constitution, through a Constitutional Instrument is mandated to regulate the President’s appointments to public offices.

Article 195 (1) of the constitution says, “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the power to appoint persons to hold or act in office in the  public service shall rest in the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the governing Council of the Service Concerned, given in consultation with the Public Services Commission.”

Article 192 further states that “The Public Services Commission, may, subject to the approval of the President make reputations, by Constitutional Instrument for the effective and efficient performance of its functions under this constitution or any other law.”

Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOSSAG at a press briefing in Accra yesterday said it was, therefore, imperative to test the law to enforce the enactment of the C.I. that would limit the powers of the President in appointing public officers since that would be done in consultation with the PSC as stipulated by the constitution.

He said it has become imperative to seek the face of the law since over time, the stability and security of the tenure of public officers has been threatened with political interference with regards to removal of officers within the services as a result of changes in government.

Mr Bampoe-Addo said CLOSSAG was of the view that no civil servant must hold or be seen to be involved in partisan activities, since visible partisanship by the Civil Service would severely impair, if not destroy, the public perception of neutrality.

“Thus, with the curtailment of appointments due to political change, the situation of affected officers, who often go through serious stress and frustrations should be of concern to all and sundry,” he said.

He said in cases where the officers were at the peak of their career, the sudden end of their future at work had been seriously traumatic, saying “imagine the situation where an officer who has served more than 20 years in the service and risen to the level of top management being asked to step aside not because he has misconducted himself but only there has been a political change.”

Mr Bampoe-Addo said the action of CLOSSAG was to create the necessary awareness of the powers conferred on the President of the Republic of Ghana in the appointment and termination of appointments of public officers within the public services in order to curtail such powers.

He said in spite of the act of omission on the part of the PSW, “CLOSSAG is of the strong conviction that the power of appointment of persons to hold or act in office in the public services, especially, the civil service should be done in such a way that political neutrality shall be maintained.”

Mr Bampoe-Addo argued that the constitution in restricting officers within the civil and local government services from engaging in direct and visible programmes of political party activities to create a sense if neutrality in the service.

He said the constraints should somehow be compensated by the security of the tenure of office which could ultimately contribute in no small measure to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service adding that CLOSSAG subscribed to the view that an effective civil service was essential to modern day democratic society and that a measure of neutrality was necessary to preserve its effectiveness.

By Lawrence Markwei  

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