No Retrenchment Under Bailout - Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has denied that as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for the bailout of the country, public sector workers would be retrenched. He said, government is not doing wholesale employment but employing people to fill vacancies created as a result of pensions, resignation and deaths.

President Mahama was speaking at a national conference of Public Chief Directors, Chief Executives and Chairpersons of Governing Boards and Councils of the Public Sector Commission in Koforidua, on Friday. He explained that, the position taken by government is to streamline the public sector and the wage bill and indicated that, a staff rationalization is ongoing to ensure that, the requisite human resource base is spread throughout the sectors and across the country.

According to the President, the nation is moving towards a system where vacancies would be declared at the districts level so that there would be no staff over concentration in the urban areas to the detriment of the rural areas. He said, there is the need to employ people for specific jobs and not add on to the number, to improve the public sector as well as government purse and not because IMF had spelt that as a condition to be satisfied.

President Mahama said the public sector must be reformed to reflect the state of a 21st century leadership through consistent and concerted efforts to improve upon the public service delivery system. He charged public servants to manage the public sector institutions with zeal and commitment as they would manage their father’s property to remove the inefficiency in that sector.  He said, the public service belonged to all Ghanaians and, therefore, its success and sustenance must engage the attention of all.

According to him, it was unacceptable that the public service sector should be synonymous to inefficiency. President Mahama questioned: “If the public service today is handed over to you same directors and leaders to manage as your own, would you do it in the same manner you are doing in trust for the people of Ghana”?

President Mahama mentioned bureaucracy and delays as some of the attitude in the public sector that the leadership of the public service must change, and improve upon the service delivery with standard measures for productivity. He said the donor partners of the country are complaining of non-utilization of donor funds due to delays and lack of commitment on the part of the public sector officials and other unacceptable attitudes such as demanding moneys for service for which they are being paid for by the government.

Mrs. Bridget Kastriku, Head of the PSC in her address, noted that,  the interface between governing boards and councils and sector ministries are not clearly defined resulting in low performance and none achievement of set targets. She disclosed that, the PSC has developed a manual to clearly define the roles of the various players, including ministers, boards and councils to harmonize their respective roles towards achieving the set goals and targets of the public sector.

Mrs. Katsriku said, in order to access the impact of the public service, an annual survey has began last year and the maiden report would inform PSC on guidelines to improve the public sector service. Mr. Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, the Eastern Regional Minister said the public sector was the surest way of extending opportunities to all and stressed the need for its negative perception over the years to be changed for the better.