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The Desecration Of The Local Government Service

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The Local Government Service (LGS) became created in 2003. With this new Service got here a country wide headquarters then known as the Local Government Service Secretariat (LGSS).

Today, this “Secretariat” is known as the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) due to the passage of a brand new Act of Parliament in 2016 – Local Governance Act, Act 936 of 2016 – an apparent name “borrowing” from its sister Service, the Civil Service. The most important cause for growing this provider is to “steady the powerful management and management (emphasis supplied) of the decentralised neighborhood authorities gadget withinside the country”.

To acquire the “item of the Service”, the Service spent scares assets to broaden numerous “coverage hints to address subjects associated with recruitment, training, promoting, discipline, arbitration and petition in the provider”.

Some of those coverage hints advanced encompass Conditions of Service, Code of Conduct, Human Resource Operational Manual, Staffing Norms and Scheme of Service among others. Also, as one of the Public Services of Ghana, the Service is needed to additionally be guided with the aid of using and uphold the tenets of the Human Resource Management Policy Framework and Manual for the Ghana Public Services advanced with the aid of using the Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2015.

Today, the provider is being “administered” and “managed” as though there aren’t anyt any policies or hints or guidelines or protocols to manual its sports particularly in relation to recruitments and a few appointments.
Policies, we realize, do now no longer put in force themselves. Humans broaden and put in force them withinside the wish of making improvements to their lot. So, to “offer management and guidance(emphasis mine) withinside the overall performance of the features of the provider” to “steady [the] powerful management and management” of the provider, a “Head of Local Government Service” and his/her “Chief Advisor” – the Chief Director – are appointed to be on the top of the provider with the aid of using the President. The contemporary occupants of those positions are Ing. Dr. Stephen Nana Ato Arthur (Head of Service) and Mr. James Oppong-Mensah (Chief Director).

This article is ready them and their stewardship as a result a long way. Both currently, are retirees however are nonetheless striking on due to the “indiscriminate provide of settlement appointments of officials who’ve mandatorily retired” (This is the identify of round no. C/PSC/1 dated twelfth July, 2001 with the aid of using the Public Services Commission).

Developments in the provider below the contemporary management have left a good deal to be desired. Observers inside and out of doors the provider are justly concerned approximately the destiny of the provider. It could be very not unusualplace to pay attention group of workers of the provider say matters like “the provider is dead” or “the provider is finished”.

As a member of the Service with a touch over sixteen (16) years’ revel in and having visible the early levels of the established order of the Service with the promise it held for neighborhood governance in Ghana, my coronary heart is damaged and so are many withinside the provider.
Coming activities, they are saying forged their shadows.

The first act of the contemporary Head of Service upon assumption of responsibility need to have indicated to any important observer that there have been exclusive motivations for lobbying and taking over that publish.

His PhD dissertation titled “The unfinished Business of Decentralisation: Political Accountability of Local Government in Ghana” which he finished in 2012 and which became freely to be had at the World Wide Web and accessed with the aid of using a number of us in 2014 became quick bundled right into a ee-e book in 2017 and bought to the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

The thesis remains freely to be had on line to date. Eight (8) copies have been “forcefully” given to every District Assembly who had no preference however to get hold of and pay One Hundred cedis (GH₵100.00) every for a copy. RCCs, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies were given better numbers every.

Having received a few function of authority or have an effect on over human beings, this became a groovy manner of raking in a few coins. It became now no longer call for-pushed.

That is to say, it became now no longer primarily based totally at the wishes of RCCs/MMDAs in which they determined to invite for copies. It became a calculated deliver-pushed manner in which he (the Head of Service) determined the RCCs/MMDAs wished it and went to print it to promote to them despite the fact that he are aware of it became freely to be had on line.

Calculated due to the fact he knew together along with his contemporary function, no District Co-ordinating Director (Spending Officers) should viable think about now no longer procuring them or rejecting them. Timid, as we’ve got all end up, bills have been made amidst grumbling.
It is consequently now no longer unexpected that those days, whilst monetization of recruitments into the Public Services of Ghana comes up on social media, the Local Government Service receives noted frequently.

For example, Africa Development Watch published pretty lately on twitter that “…Unemployed graduates are required to pay quantities starting from 6,000 to 15,000 cedis to be hired in Ghana’s neighborhood govt {authorities] provider…” Again, whilst one influential journalist published on Facebook that “Employment is on the market in a few public area agencies”, the Local Government Service were given mentioned normally withinside the comments. One precise remark stated “Just say Local Government Service.”

In different words, the journalist need to have simply stated “Employment is on the market in Local Government Service.” Nevertheless, any possibility the Head of Service receives, he denies this reality as opposed to preventing the shameful practice.

On twelfth September, 2019, whilst Ing. Dr. Stephen Nana Ato Arthur regarded on Citi TV’s Point of View, numerous messages from visitors indicated that jobs withinside the provider have been on the market and the host, Bernard Koku Avle introduced them to his attention. As expect, the Head of Service flatly denied it. Since 2017, there were numerous recruitments into the provider.

Only God is aware of how the ones recruitments have been carried out. Recruitment procedures as required with the aid of using the provider protocols were thrown to the dogs. Even for insiders like me, we best get to realize whilst postings are effected. Despite those actions, which can be now subjects of public knowledge “bringing the provider into disrepute”, the best time this omnibus word will discover which means and given existence is whilst one, particularly a group of workers overtly criticize those actions.
The Public Service Organisation that “birthed” the Local Government Service is the Civil Service. Indeed, till 2003 the 2 offerings have been one, technically speaking.

The Civil Service has in large part maintained an “open and aggressive” recruitment manner and may be stated to be “guided with the aid of using the concepts of advantage and transparency” as mandated with the aid of using the Public Service Commission (see sections 4.1.three and of the Human Resource Management Policy Framework and Manual for the Ghana Public Services).

They have an internet portal for accepting applications; their recruitments are broadly and overtly advertised; candidates write aggressive graduate access examinations and exam outcomes are posted on their internet site; and certified candidates are invited for interviews. All one wishes to do to realize that is to go to their internet site as soon as in a even as.

The final time I heard of examinations and interviews being performed with the aid of using the provider for brand new recruits became someplace in 2012/2013 thereabout. Yet nearly each yr considering that 2017, new graduate recruits are being published to the diverse RCCs and MMDAs.

The final time I noticed an open ad in a few on line information portals approximately a few recruitment into the Local Government Service, a press launch became issued with the aid of using the Service to disclaim it.

However, a few few weeks after the denial, MMDAs began out receiving new recruits. One of such denial letters stated the Service became “pretty much to finish a manner it started out in February 2019 to have interaction thousand hundred and ninety (2,290) extra group of workers…” (See Press Release of August 14, 2019 published on their internet site on August 15, 2019). What that “manner” became, nobody is aware of besides the Head of Service and his lieutenants.

But as a long way as I can tell, in that “manner” there has been no open commercial, no Entry Examination and no interviews. In fact, the provider below the contemporary management is on document to have as soon as stated it used “random sampling” to recruit a few “backlog” of candidates whilst recruitment anomalies have been raised with the aid of using the general public a while ago. Pathetic!

A test of the internet site of the Local Government Service could display diverse recruitments of graduates into the provider and but no commercial of vacancies or exam bulletins besides for one emptiness assertion for Assistant Agricultural Officers (AAO) published on July 26, 2018 and many “Internal Vacancy Announcement[s] ” which can be supposed for already serving group of workers of the provider with the suitable grades.

Paradoxically, even as they recruit with out open classified ads, the internet site of the Service is awash with diverse open classified ads of vacancies in a few global firms just like the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Communications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Isn’t that funny?! Now we’ve got an entire bunch of group of workers who is aware of now no longer what task interviews seem like withinside the provider neither to speak of graduate access examinations as carried out with the aid of using its sister provider.

It isn’t best recruitments into the Service that laid down policies were jettisoned. Due to bad or maybe no succession making plans withinside the Service in spite of copious provisions for it, it has nearly end up a norm that many MMDAs cross with out substantial District Co-ordinating Directors (DCDs). Thus, Acting Assignments (differentiated from formal Acting Appointments due to the fact what’s carried out withinside the Local Government Service falls brief of the necessities for “Acting Appointments” despite the fact that group of workers may be on this “Acting” function for lots years) have historically been used to fill withinside the vacuum.

This easy manner that was the task of Regional Co-ordinating Directors (RCDs) has been hijacked with the aid of using the Head of Service considering that assuming workplace for apparent reasons – it has end up a beneficial commercial enterprise for him and his “Chief Advisor”. No different reason explains this recentralization of administrative procedures and the absurdity with which it’s far carried out below a pacesetter who preaches that there are “Unfinished Business of Decentralisation” (emphasis supplied) in Ghana.

It was that after the sort of emptiness passed off in a district without a instantaneously senior officer (normally Deputy Director/analogous grades) in that precise MMDA certified to take over, the Regional Co-ordinating Director will appearance in the Region to publish a certified senior maximum officer to head act because the District Co-ordinating Director.

If no appropriate applicants have been located withinside the Region, then the hunt expands to different areas in which the Head of Service could then do the posting considering that inter-local posting is purely the mandate of head workplace in step with the protocols. This manner ensured a few degree of sanity and seniority, that’s a lot loved with the aid of using group of workers of the provider, became adhered to. Merit became additionally a key factor.

Read Also: WAEC’s admonition shot

Today, there’s no components in those “Acting Assignments”. Postings for appearing mission are carried out at whim. Juniors are published to go districts over group of workers who’re senior to them. Haphazard postings of group of workers from one location to every other to take in Acting Assignments in which there are similarly certified group of workers in that location are very not unusualplace. There is even a case in which a group of workers became published from one district in a location to take in Acting Assignment in a district in every other location in which his colleague (senior, strictly speaking – despite the fact that identical grade and identical yr of appointment into the provider, this one has a promoting date that’s in advance than that of the published officer) became stationed. See Section of the Human Resource Operational Manual for the Service for the way seniority is decided for human beings with the identical grade. By now a few human beings can be thinking why it subjects for a person to be published for an Acting Assignment. Is it now no longer simply a “prevent gap” measure? Yes, it simply subjects a lot due to the fact on this provider “Acting Assignments” are nearly constantly for “existence”. The chance that one could be on this function until you reap the “grade/function” of a substantial DCD or retire is nearly certain. There also are many written and unwritten advantages – a lot in order that many are inclined to pay large sums for it. So it subjects that the proper matters are carried out so as now no longer for the manner to be visible to be unfair and de-motivating to group of workers.
In the Facebook publish of the journalist referred above, one more remark read “…as [for] the ones officials already withinside the provider however desired to end up Coordinating Directors have been speculated to have paid withinside the community of GHc10000 to 12,000.00…” This individual truely has a few records however the figures are manner under what human beings pay to get published to behave as Co-ordinating Directors. In 2020, human beings paid as a good deal as GH₵25,000.00. Today, the parent is among GH₵30,000.00 and GH₵50,000.00 relying to your connection, despite the fact that a few (very few) do get published via political connections. Even with those large figures, call for outstrips deliver with the “henchman” – the Chief Director – taken coins earlier and actively on the lookout for vacancies to restoration a queue of human beings. Having gotten to realize that that is the practice, many officials who at once reap the grade of Deputy Director/analogous grades are in haste, falling over themselves, doing anything it’s going to take to get published over many seniors of theirs. It is now a free-for-all affair – all introduced approximately with the aid of using the disdain for laid down system with the aid of using the Head of Service and his “Chief Advisor”.
The Association of Co-ordinating Directors (ASCOD) and the Regional Co-ordinating Directors (RCDs) have complained and keep to lament privately approximately the flip of activities withinside the Service however nobody is bothered – now no longer the Head of Service nor the Chief Director (Don’t be amazed to peer a charade prepared with the aid of using manner of denial). And but, whilst given the possibility to deal with group of workers, they hold forth to the excessive heavens approximately group of workers attitudes to paintings and the relaxation of it. When fish goes to rot, it begins offevolved from the head, it’s far stated! Time to name out folks that spark off to spoil establishments to the factor of no go back for his or her cupidity is now. Posterity will now no longer choose us fairly, if we stay silent. The Council of the Local Government Service, the Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Hon. Daniel Kwaku Botwe (a Man of excessive integrity – I realize due to the fact I handled him at a few degree) and all that be counted should act to opposite the fashion of activities else they may be at the identical aspect of records with the primary actors whilst the demise of the provider is eventually announced!
To end, I depart you with Mark 8:36 (CEV – “What will you gain, in case you very own the complete international however damage yourself?”) and additionally congratulate a number of our junior colleagues who advantage and should be “Acting Co-ordinating Directors” however stay omitted for anything reason. END

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