Editorial 2:Neutrality of the civil service threatened by politics

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Photo: Nana Agyekum Dwamena, Head of the Civil Service (HCS),

Nana Agyekum Dwamena, Head of the Civil Service (HCS), has said Personal Assistants (PAs) and Technical Advisors (TAs) at various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are impeding the work of civil servants.

This development has become a cause for concern. Consequently, the new civil service law has made clear proposals for defining the role of PAs and TAs to guide the operations of civil servants in order to codify roles for all these categories of advisors, so that they know exactly what they are to do.

Political party patronage is very prominent in the civil service and local government service. It is a problem because if we don’t have a neutral civil service or local government service, it adversely affects performance. The desired neutrality among civil and local government staff is a mirage, considering the level of political interference in its operations.

The civil service human resource will consequently not be based on merit and will have, or be swayed by, political influence – and that in turn adversely affects our socio-economic development as a state.

With the fervour for partisan politics in our body-politic increasing, it has adversely affected neutrality of the civil service as we know it; and it is important for the civil service to remain or become non-partisan. This is because partisan politics promotes allegiance to party policies rather than the national good.

The public lecture organised by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), with the theme ‘Neutrality in the Civil and Local Government Services; a reality or a mirage’.

CLOGSAG has taken the lead and created a platform for discussion, debate and interrogation of the issue, and they need to be commended for identifying this growing phenomenon that has the propensity to crowd-out the civil service if care is not taken. This over-politicisation of the civil and local government service is becoming quite menacing.

We hope this lecture and the impending new civil service law will address a growing phenomenon that threatens the neutrality of the civil service. We need to guard against this nagging problem.

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