By Frank Amponsah
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said it was the intenrion of government to make public sector go paperless and reduce drastically the interface that critically exists between citizens and the public sector in the provision not services.
He said: “Ultimately, the public sector will go paperless, and reduce drastically the interface that currently exists between citizens and public servants in the provision of services.”
He said that his administration will create a new public sector that will stick for purpose in view of helping guarantee the delivery of high quality of service for the Ghanaian people.
According to President Akufo-Addo, government will strengthen local government structure and focus on high level performance of ICT in government agencies so as to bring government closer to the people.
“The intention is bring governance closer to the people, and identify local economic development initiatives to provide opportunities for job and wealth creation at the local level. It would also focus on high level activities aimed at transforming and mainstreaming ICT in government agencies. Apart from this, it would ensure the establishment of an electronic records management system for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the MMDAs.”
He assured that the reform strategy will not suffer the same fate as past ones adding that matters relating to policy formulation and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and accountability, have been well factored into this strategy to ensure its smooth take off.
“Meanwhile, a robust communication team will be established within the Office of the Senior Minister to support the coordination of the scheme through strategic engagement with private sector, public agencies, public servants, and civil society. A website has been dedicated to this scheme, and is now online to provide adequate information on the Strategy for the benefit of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
He said this when he officially launched the 25 years National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) which spans from this year, 2018 to 2023.
The NPSRS Strategy which was launched under the theme, “Delivering for Citizens and Private Sector,” will enhance service delivery to citizens and the private sector.
According to the President, since Ghana’s independence in 1957, there have been conscious efforts by givernments to transform the publuc sector in areas of service delivery but not much have been acehived.
He said Ghanaians over the years expressed dissatisfaction about the delivery of service in the public setor.
He indicated that, the country’s public sector has been riddled with abscenteism, incompetence and corruption and that currently, public sector is not seen in a good light.
President Akufo-Addo said through the strategy, his government hopes to establish an open and impartial public sector at the central and local government levels, with citizens and the private sector at the core of its concerns.
He said government attaches great importance to the reform strategy hence the whole idea of ensuring the transformation of public institutions and improve service delivery.
He averred that the NPSRS will help government review and modernize the current structures and internal management structure of the public sector to support government’s development priorities.
According to him, the strategy will establish a new public sector critical to the socioeconomic transformation of the nation and that it will also lead to employment and to see the realization of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
He also maintained that international best practices requires that there is robust, regular framework that defines and shake the nature of work and service delivery to citizens and private sector.
President Akufo-Addo again averred that modernized and improved working conditions are key in achieving productivity in the public sector and that there will be a “structural review of public sector compensation in it’s etirety.”
Government, he said will institute “suitable performance base reward to improve productivity,” adding that tools and equipment will also be provided to help improve productivity.
The five-year strategy will target institutions such as the passport office, Births and Deaths Registry among others for improving client service, turnaround time and other key deliverables.
The president averred that the strategy is critical to the Ghana beyond aid agenda.
“When our areas and institutions are performing well, it is not by magic; it is by people saying that we have changed our attitude and we want to build Ghana. Having an agenda of Ghana beyond aid, with weaker public institutions will get nowhere,” he said.
The previous government developed a national public sector reform strategy document which was to be implemented from 2017 to 2027.
However, the document has been reviewed by the current government to a five year period, starting 2018 to 2023.
This was approved by the Akufo-Addo led government in principle and a decision was taken to review the document, within the framework of and in line with Government’s private sector-led development agenda and re-submit it for the adoption of Cabinet.
A Committee chaired by the Senior Minister and made up of other Ministers, representatives from the private sector, Academia etc. was constituted to review the document.
A Technical Committee was put in place to produce a revised version for the consideration of the Review Committee leading to the development of the draft NPSRS, 2018-2023.
Meanwhile the President urged members of the public service, to embrace these reforms, because they represent effective means for the creation of a public service that will deliver for the citizenry and the private sector, adding “an efficient public service will help realise our vision of a self-reliant, prosperous Ghana. It should serve as the impetus for re-shaping our country and charting a new path of growth and development in freedom, which will help deliver a dignified, prosperous standard of life to the Ghanaian people.”