DEPT: PUBLIC ADMIN.
LECTURER: Dr KWAME ASAMOAH
ACCESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF GHANA
The Civil Service of Ghana, an integral part of the executive branch of government, is a major component of the public services of Ghana, which come under supervision of the Public Services Commission. Ghana's Civil Service is organized along British lines and constitutes one of the most enduring legacies of the British colonial rule. The post-independence era has seen some transformations of the colonial Civil Service in Ghana up until now, which were meant to incorporate the nationals of the country into managing the public sector of Ghana effectively and efficiently. The objectives of the Civil Service of Ghana are, primarily to assist the Government in the formulation and implementation of Government policies and programmes for the development of the country. These objectives are accomplished through advising on Government plans, undertaking research for effective formulation and implementation of Government policies, and monitoring, co-coordinating, evaluating, and reviewing Government policies, and plans. It also ensures that policies are translated into practical and cost-effective programmes and projects and maintains vigilant oversight of the implementation of policies by the various government Departments and Agencies assigned this responsibility. This paper discusses how ineffective the Civil Service of Ghana has been, in spite of the various legal frameworks instituted to ensure its operational conformity to the development of the country. The following legal instruments and Constitutional provisions over the years were meant to enhance the efficiency of the Ghana Civil Service. Republican Constitution 1960. This Constitution abolished the Public Services Commission and replaced it with a Civil Service Act 1960 (C.A.5). This Act provided for Creation of Civil Service posts, setting up of Ministries and Departments, appointment and retirement of Civil Servants and other matters relating to the Civil Service. Civil Service Interim Regulations, 1960 (L.I47). These Regulations provided for the Creation of a Ghana Civil Service Commission, Structure of the Ghana Civil Service, and filling of vacancies in the Ghana Civil Service among others. Civil Service Amendment Act 1965 (Act 303). This Act abolished the Civil Service Commission and transferred its powers to an Establishment Secretariat. Other commissions and committees such as, the Mills Odoi Commission (1967), the Siriboe Committee (1968), the Okoh Commission (1977), the Kwaku Kyiama Committee (1982), and the Sackey Committee (1982) added recommendations to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Civil Service through structural reorganization, and improved conditions of service Despite all the above legal transformations of the Civil Service, successive governments have criticized its ineffectiveness in carrying out the above objectives. Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president attacked the Civil Service. “It amazes me that up to the present many civil servants do not realize that we are living in a revolutionary era. Ghana cannot afford to be tied down to archaic small-pace methods of work which obstruct expeditious progress…..civil servants therefore must develop a sense of mission and urgency to enable them to eliminate all tendencies towards red tapism, bureaucracy and waste.” (Nkrumah 1961a:5). General E.K. Kotoka, a key member of the National Liberation Council (NLC), complained that “things don’t go as expected” in the Civil Service. General Ocran, another member of the NLC, also complained that in his ministries unlike the army, the line of authority was ill-defined and diffused and civil servants often did not know who was responsible for what. (Legon Observer, 1967; Pinkey, 1972). The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Government blamed the Civil Service for not only...