CLOGSAG Neutrality Projectclogsagadmin
The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) on Tuesday launched the CLOGSAG Neutrality Project, aimed to sensitize civil servants and local government staff on the need to remain neutral from partisan politics in relation to a Supreme Court ruling.
The Association said the continuous politicization of the work of civil servants is threatening effective service delivery. They were reminded of the laws relating to their participation in partisan politics saying the relevant legislation could be found under Article 94(3) of the 1992 Constitution and Political Parties Act, 2000 section 26.
Gum Naba I (Alhaji) M.Asibi Azonko, the President of CLOGSAG speaking at a symposium in Accra said the CLOGSAG had sought an interpretation of the relevant articles of the constitution that could be the basis of either extending or excluding members of the civil and local government services in partisan politics.
“The Supreme Court ruling unequivocally had it that staff of civil and local government services should not engage in partisan politics and should not aspire to be members of district assemblies whiles they remain members of the two services.
“Furthermore, staff of the civil and local government services should not hold their appointment or promotion through politics. Even though CLOGSAG had issued a press statement in February 2018 advising its members not to participate in active partisan activities, there is still the need to intensify sensitization of our members on the implications of the Supermen Court ruling”, he said.
The symposium was on the theme: “Colloquium on Implications of the Supreme Court Ruling on Political Neutrality in the Civil and Local Government Services.” Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, said it had become imperative on the part of CLOGSAG to ensure that its members adhere to the ruling of the Supreme Court as far as their involvement in politics was concerned.
He commended CLOGSAG for their efforts in seeking true and proper interpretation of Articles in the Constitution on neutrality in the Civil and Local Government Services to determine the role of the worker in terms of his attitude towards the public and the services.
Mrs Bridget Katsriku, the Chairperson of the Public Services Commission, said in recent years there had been a significant departure from the Civil and Local Government Services’ values including the values of transparency, objectivity, accountability, professionalism, political neutrality, amongst others.
Mrs Katsriku said specifically between 2001 to date the political neutrality of the Civil Servant and Local Government had been seriously compromised due to the recruitment process, lack of trust by politicians in the staff they have to work with and attraction of Civil and Local Government Staff to political activism.
“A partisan Civil and Local Government Service will be tempted to sing their “Masters’ voice and will not give accurate, truthful and logical advice to political masters for good decision making. A professional Civil and Local Government Service Staff is expected to look at the bigger picture of Ghana’s development rather than the survival of the party in power.
“Remaining politically neutral does not only help the staff to master the expertise, skills and knowledge and have the confidence to give expert advice to politicians and fearless of telling truth to power”, she said.
She also added that it promoted the retention of key staff with a store of organizational memory to assist in-coming governments build on the achievements of previous governments by benchmarking and appreciating existing challenges and strategies for better policy decision making and implementation.