OHLGS to introduce career progression scheme for staff

The Office of the Head of Local Government Service, (OHLGS) is set to introduce a career progression scheme for staff of the service to enhance their performance and response to duty.

 The scheme would cut across a number of professional classes in the service.

As a start, the office of the Head of Local Government Service would require each officer at the level of Deputy Director and its analogue grades to undertake a compulsory career related course in local Governance and Management at the Institute for Local Government Studies before they could move up in the ranks.

The Head of Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, stated this at the fifth annual general conference of the Association of District Coordinating Directors, (ASCOD) at Jirapa in the Upper West Region on Thursday.

The meeting, which brought together regional and district coordinating directors across the country was on the theme, “Public accountability, the role of the Coordinating Director.”

Dr Arthur explained that the professional studies had been necessitated by a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between the OHLGS in Ghana and the service in Netherlands last year, which also saw a review of the Scheme of Service.

“The reviewed scheme states that officials, deputy directors and above will require the certificate before they can also act as Coordinating Directors, and prior to their interview for confirmation as substantive Metropolitan, Municipal and District Coordinating Director, (MMDCD) by the Public Service Commission”, he stated.

He hinted that the OHLGS would circulate detailed outlines of the courses by the end of August, 2019 to enable the service staff to  adequately prepare for it and said this would be proceeded by a modular programme which would be rolled out in January 2020.

Dr Arthur complained that issues of accountability and transparency in the public sector had become quite problematic in some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and causing the public to lose confidence in the institutions.

“Public accountability demands that politicians and public servants who are entrusted with public resources are answerable for their fiscal and social responsibilities to the people who provided the resources and assigned them the responsibilities. It is a key aspect of good governance that promotes good behaviour on the part of public servants and enhances effective public service delivery”, he explained.

In the light of this, Dr Arthur noted that it had become necessary for the chief administrators who were advisors to the MMDCEs to become familiar with and applied appropriate policies, laws, hierarchies, regulations and procedures with their ability to diagnose problems, design solutions according to the law and develop adaptive implementation approaches.

He therefore urged the service heads and staff to take advantage of the career progression scheme when it was rolled out, to better their lot.

 The Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih in an address, told the Coordinating Directors to ensure that they were up to the task of running the assembly so that they would be able to put their subordinates in check.

“There appears to be a growing indiscipline among staff of assemblies which is affecting service delivery at the local levels. Reports indicate that in some assemblies, staff report to work late and close before time, some staff absent themselves from work, particularly whenever their District Chief Executives and Directors are out of the district capital on official duties and this has led to decreased quality of work and correspondence from the assemblies”, he narrated.

Dr Arthur attributed this trend to poor supervision from the district coordinators and urged them to guide and administer their subordinates so that they would comply with the code and ethics of the service, stressing that

 “You must bear in mind that the Right to Information Bill has been passed into law and takes effect from January, next year, therefore you must be very circumspect because people would take advantage of this right to pry into your affairs for the sake of accountability and transparency,” he said.

He also commended the directors for working closely with political heads at the assemblies and by guiding them to ensure that they worked for the good of the MMDAs, irrespective of the government in power as mandated by the constitution.


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