DICHOTOMY OF CIVIL SERVICE/SERVANT AND PUBLIC SERVICE/SERVANT PHILIP AFETI KORTO- SENIOR HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR
DANGME EAST DISTRICT HOSPITAL, ADA-GHANA
It is almost totally impossible for most people in Ghana to differentiate between the Civil Service and other Public Services when confronted with the issue. To a very large extent, their inability to do so is justifiable as the words public and civil are synonymous. Both words are also identical with the words social, national, communal, universal, general, common, municipal, commercial, open and unrestricted. Why should one therefore bother about dichotomising civil service/servant and public service/ servant? A little archival review before writing this piece revealed that in most countries, Civil Service or Civil Servant is just another name for Public Service or Public Servant but as a matter of constitutional stipulations in the case of our country Ghana, Civil Service/Servant is different –no matter how slightly - from Public Service notwithstanding the notion held by most people that all public servants are civil servants. What makes it even more difficult for most people to tell the difference between Civil Service and Public Service is that both are state-owned hence many similarities abound. Also, most public services were once manned by the Civil Service and they were answerable to the Head of Civil Service. The most puzzling point is that public sector/service itself is synonymous of ‘government’ and it is is made up of many government ministries, departments and agencies that are staffed by public services. Apart from the difference that exists between the Civil Service and other public services as enshrined in the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana –which we will delve into as the piece unfolds-, the mathematical way of differentiating the two is using a Venn diagram whereby Civil Service/Servants would be one of the sub-sets of Public Service/Servants which would constitute the...
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