Gov’t appointees in civil service dislocates governance – Prosper Bani

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A former Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, says there’s nothing wrong for governments to appoint people outside the Civil Service to help prosecute their agenda, but warned against the situation where such appointees appear to have taken substantive positions within the Service. For him, condoning such culture will not inure to the benefit of the country but will rather create a disjoint between the Civil Service and the services they are required to offer both in theory and practice. “With reference to the fundamental theory of Max Weber which established the civil service of this country we will be creating a situation where there will be significant dislocation between government and the various services to the people”, he said at the 4th edition of the Accra Dialogue series. Themed ‘Executing the President’s Mandate; The Role of the Civil Service,’ the Dialogue was organized by  Media General in partnership with the Institute of Law and Public Affairs (ILPA), and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation (FESF). Read: Accra Dialogue IV focuses on the Civil Service Though Mr. Bani who served under the John Mahama administration argued the nature of a government’s agenda may necessitate the use of extra hands but that does not give those appointed to help the leeway to take over the country’s civil service. “The tendency of having people to support Presidents and ministers to deliver their job is nothing new as well, however, where appointees from government begin to take the substantive positions of civil servants, then we have issues”, he observed. He insisted that people who are to be politically appointed into the civil service must be taken through the necessary recruitment processes and training to equip them very well for the job. “If you want to be a Civil servant, go through the civil service programme, you need to be trained, because the functions are just as sensitive, nervous, tricky and dependent”. Another former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, who was a discussant, raised concerns about the quality of the current civil service, describing it as being in a “sorry state”. Read: Our civil service is in a sorry state; blame politicians – Kwadwo Mpiani Former rector of GIMPA, Professor Stephen Adei, another panelist however held a different view. He described the CLOGSAG members who have accused government appointees of taking over their job as “uncivil” Read: CLOGSAG mulls strike over political appointees Meanwhile, legal and governance expert, Kwamena Ahwoi, argued laws governing the office of the President (Presidential Office Act 1993, Act 463) and that of the Civil Service (Act 1993 PNDC Law 327) are porous; a situation he alleged, governments have taken advantage of to appoint cronies into government. He made particularly reference to the Presidential Office Act 1993, Act 463, which he said does not provide a limit to the number of appointees a President can have. By P.D Wedam||Ghana]]>