Business News of Saturday, 1 December 2018
President Akufo-Addo has charged the newly sworn in Chairperson of the Public Services Commission (PSC), Mrs Janet Ampadu Fofie, to ensure that she channels her efforts at the Commission to build an orderly and efficient public service in the country.
Addressing the newly sworn in members of the Board after administering the official oath and the Oath of Secrecy, President Akufo-Addo said the Public Services Commission is an important component of the governance architecture of the nation and that, “It is responsible for ensuring that we have an orderly public service in which appointments and advancements are made on the basis of merit and integrity of character”.
The President to this end indicated it is the Chairperson’s duty more than anybody else’s to make sure that people working in the public service satisfy this criteria and requirement.
The President acknowledged that the task ahead of the Chairperson is not an easy one, however, he expressed confidence that with the experience of the Chairperson in the public service space of the country, she would be able to execute her duties excellently, relying on the hands-on experience she has had in public service administration thus far.
He added that the door of his office and that of the Chief of Staff’s were wide open to her should she require any assistance to carry out her assignment. President Akufo-Addo also swore into office Mr. Michael Nana Yaw Aduhene Adu-Darko, a member of the Public Services Commission at the same ceremony.
In her response on her own behalf and on the behalf of the members of the Commission, Mrs. Janet Ampadu Fofie said the comments of the President were indeed true, promising and pledging to do their best and be guided by the laws and values of the public service to uphold same and ensure that whatever they do is guided and based on the law and best practices that exist in the public service.
The Public Services Commission
The origins of the Public Services Commission (PSC) can be traced back to 1947 when the colonial government accepted the recommendations of the Haragin Committee for the establishment of Public Services Commissions in the colonies, including the Gold Coast, Nigeria, the Gambia and Sierra Leone.
The objective for the establishment of the Commissions in the colonies was to effect a desirable consolidation and extension of existing arrangements regarding human resource and other associated matters in order to secure the confidence, fairness and impartiality of the general public and government appointees.
In 1948, the Coussey Committee, which was appointed in the aftermath of the 1948 riots to draft a constitution for the country, recommended a full-fledged PSC that would resort to a more rigorous policy of training and appointment of Africans to all classes of positions in the Civil Service and give preference to African candidates in all appointments, where they possessed the requisite qualifications.
The 1951 Constitution of the Gold Coast created, for the first time, the PSC to advise the Governor on issues relating to appointments,transfers and disciplinary control of the public officers.
However, the Governor was not required to necessarily act in accordance with the advice given him by the Commission.
The noble objective for the establishment of the PSC for the Gold Coast, now Ghana has not changed. However, it is important to note that the periods immediately after independence up to 1979, the management of the public services human resource was marked with the struggle for identification and emphasis of source of control over the public servant.
During these years, the executive authority in the state was much prominent in all matters relating to public or civil servant promotion, transfers and discipline.
Today, Article 194 (1) of the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992 states that, “There shall be a Public Services Commission which shall perform such functions as assigned to it by this Constitution or by any other law”.
Article 196 of Constitution of 1992 further states that “The Public Services Commission shall have such powers and exercise such Supervisory, Regulatory and Consultative functions as Parliament shall, by law, prescribe, including as may be applicable, the supervision and regulation of entrance and promotion examinations, recruitment, appointment into or promotions within the Public Services and the establishment of guidelines on the terms and conditions of employment in the public services”.
The PSC Act, 1994 (Act 482) giving effect to the above constitutional provisions, provides details of the composition of the Commission, functions and the secretariat that supports the functions of the Commission.