Ensure “Political Neutrality” In Civil Servants’ Appointments - CLOSAG

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOSAG), has called on Government to promote “political neutrality” in the appointment of persons to hold public offices, to propel economic growth.     

The Association said any attempt to disregard political neutrality in such appointments would hamper economic growth, as some qualified persons would be replaced with unqualified people due to the differences in political alignments.  

Addressing a news conference in Accra, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Secretary of CLOSAG, emphasised that the Article 94 (3b) of the 1992 Constitution explicitly debarred officers within the Civil Service and the Local Government Service from engaging in political activities.     

He said the article banned members of the Police Service, Prisons Service, Audit Service and Fire Service, among others, and urged personnel from such institutions to shun any appointments in the political sphere, adding that it was unethical to engage in such activities.    

He said the work of civil servants had strong impact on the public, so any move that would thwart transparency and effective execution of duties should be avoided.

“CLOSAG subscribes to the view that an effective Civil Service is essential to modern day democratic society and that a measure of neutrality is necessary in order to preserve its effectiveness,” he added. 

He expressed worry that over time, the stability and security of the tenure of office of some competent officers had been threatened with political interferences which had resulted in the removal of some officers due to changes in government.       

He said it was worrying to see some officers compelled to end their careers when they were at the peak of their profession, adding that such development led to “serious trauma.”     

“Imagine the situation where an officer who has served more than 20 years in the Service and risen to the level of top management being asked to step aside not because he has misconducted himself but there is a change in government,” he said.     

He pledged the commitment of the Association towards protecting the welfare of members and all workers, saying the Article 191 of the Constitution provided for the protection of public officers against victimisation and all forms discrimination.     

He emphasised that the Constitution strongly prohibited any form of interferences in the work of civil servants as well as public officials and that it guarded anyone against being dismissed or removed from office or “reduced in rank or otherwise punished without just cause.”     

The Association urged Government to ensure appointments procedures were in line with the constitutional provision.

He also called on the Public Services Commission to pay attention to the Article 195 (1) which vested in the President of the Republic, the power to appoint persons in the sector with the advice of the governing council of the Service concerned given in consultation with the Public Services Commission.   

The Association is thus, calling on the Public Services Commission to regulate the power in line with the Article 197 of the Constitution, which permitted the Commission to, by the approval of the President, make regulations, by constitutional instrument, for the effective and efficient performance of its functions under the Constitution. 

He lamented that for more than 20 years after the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, the Commission had not made such regulations which affected the progress of the sector.