Colonial Civil Service
The history of the Ghana Civil Service is linked with the establishment of the British Colonial Service in the Gold Coast. Its origin can be traced to 1843 when the Crown after taking over the administration of the Forts and Settlements from the London Committee of Merchants started appointing various prominent Citizens to public office. The Service was established as the main instrument of the British imperial policy concerned with:-
Maintenance of law and order;
Imposition and collection of taxes; and
Exploitation of the rich mineral deposits and other natural resources of the colony.
The focal point of the administrative machinery was the Secretariat of the Governor. Policy formulation apart, that machinery became the agency for supervising and co-coordinating all governmental activities. The Governor was at the apex. Next followed the Colonial Secretary and within the Secretariat was the nerve-centre of the Administration. Below the Colonial Secretary and within the Secretariat were the Financial Secretary, the Attorney-General and the Auditor-General.
Directly under the Secretariat were the various Departments, such as Posts and Telegraphs, Education, Health, Agriculture and Customs. These also formed part of the headquarters organization and worked under the overall direction of the Colonial Secretary. Advice to the Governor from the various Heads of Departments was channeled through the Colonial Secretary, and it was through the Colonial Secretary that rulings and directives of the Governor were conveyed to the officers concerned.
The following legal instruments and Constitutional provisions have, over the years, affected the organization and work of the Civil Service.
Republican Constitution 1960
This Constitution abolished the Public Services Commission and replaced it with a Civil Service Act 1960 (C.A.5) This Act provided for the following;
Creation of Civil Service posts;
Setting up of Ministries and Departments;
Appointment and retirement of Civil Servants and other matters relating to the Civil Service.
Civil Service Interim Regulations 1960 (L.I47)
The Regulations provided for the following:
Creation of a Ghana Civil Service Commission;
Structure of the Ghana Civil Service; and
Filling of vacancies in the Ghana Civil Service among others.
- Civil Service Amendment Act 1965 (Act 303)
This Act abolished the Civil Service Commission and transferred its powers to an Establishment Secretariat. The members of the Commission were styled Establishment Officers while the Secretariat was brought under the personal control of the Head of State and Government.
1992 Constitution Articles19 (1) and (2)
These articles describe the Civil Service as part of the Public Services of Ghana and comprise service in both central and local government.
Article 19(1) also hived off the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Police Service, Immigration Service, etc.
Local Government Act 462 and Local Government Service Act 656
These Acts set up and govern the operations of the Local Government System and service.
The Civil Service
The Civil Service derives its existence from the 1992 Constitution of the Fourth Republic. It is one of the Public Service Institutions listed in the Constitution. Until the establishment of the Local Government Service, it comprised the Central and Local Administrative Machinery of Government.
Vision (Civil Service)
A compact, professional and transparent Service, playing pivotal role in the formulation and implementation of programmes and projects for the achievement of the Governments development agenda. (Draft for review/consideration)
Objectives and Functions of the Civil Service
The object of the Civil Service as detailed in the Legislation (PNDCL327) is primarily to assist the Government in the formulation and implementation of Government policies and programmes for the development of the country.
Its objectives are accomplished through advising on Government plans, undertaking research for effective formulation and implementation of Government policies, and monitoring, co-coordinating, evaluating, and reviewing Government policies, and plans. It also ensures that policies are translated into practical and cost-effective programmes and projects and maintains vigilant oversight of the implementation of policies by the various government Departments and Agencies assigned this responsibility. In addition, other responsibilities are assigned to it from time to time. The duties and responsibilities of the Civil Service are set by the direction the Government wants to take or go.
One critical role of the Ghana Civil Service is its stabilizing influence on political life of the country. During transition periods i.e. changes of Governments, the Civil Service holds the fort in the interim before the incoming Governments assume office.
Ministries and Departments
The functions of the Civil Service are carried out through Sector Ministries which are responsible for policy issues, manpower and financial matters as well as exercising overall supervisory, monitoring and coordinating powers over technical departments in their respective sectors.
To ensure that they play their roles efficiently and effectively, a Ministry is organized into four broad areas;
1. General Administration and Finance.
2. Planning, Budgeting, Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation
3. Human Resource Management
4. Research, Statistics, Information and Public Relations.
Under the Ministries are Departments which are responsible for the implementation of the policies, plans and programmes of the Ministries.
Prototype Organization Structure of Ministries.
Membership of the Civil Service (Who is a Civil Servant)
According to Section (4) of the Civil Service Law, 1993, PNDC Law 327, the following are members of the Service.
A person serving in a civil capacity in a post designated as a Ghana Civil Service post by or under the Law in;
- The Office of the President
- A Ministry
- A government department/agency at the national, regional and district levels
- Any other civil service department established by or under the authority of the Law the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or any other source approved by the Government.
(b) A person holding a post designated as a civil service post created by or under the authority of any other enactment, the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidate Fund or any other source approved by the Government.
Calibre of Staff
The calibre of individuals within the Service is high, diverse and in many respects comparable with their private sector counterparts. There are Administrators, Planners, Management Analysts, Engineers, Geologists, Surveyors, Agriculturists, Lawyers, Architects, Archivists, Scientists, Secretaries, etc.
Core Values and Ethics
The strength of the Civil Service lies in its values and ethics stated in the Civil Service Code of Conduct. These are;
- Impartiality, objectivity and non- partisanship,
- Knowledge and competence,
- Efficiency and performance orientation,
- Selection and promotion on merit,
- Loyalty and commitment,
- Openness/ transparency,
- Customer orientation,
- Fairness and justice
These values have underpinned the Ghana Civil Service over the years and continue to be its guiding principle.
Civil Service Reform Initiatives
- Colonial Civil Service
- Africanisation Policy
One major reform activity which changed the role and functions of the then colonial Civil Service and led to its modernization was the Africanisation policy and programme introduced by Governor Gordon Guggisberg between 1925 and1926. This was the first comprehensive plan for the development of an indigenous Civil Service. The Africanisation plan was aimed at:-
increasing the number of Africans holding European appointments,
reducing the high cost of employing Europeans and
creating local machinery for accelerated development.
In furtherance of the Africanisation programme, series of initiatives were undertaken. Some of these are:
2. Lynch Commission. (1941)
This Commission carried out a survey of government departments and this led to:-
The establishment of a scholarship programme which ensured the training of both juniors and seniors
The establishment of an interim Public Services Commission in 1948 to advise the Governor on appointments and promotions in the public service.
the drawing up of a scheme for the progressive education and training of Africans to take up senior appointments in the Civil Service.
3. Harragin Commission
This Commission introduced the negotiation of terms and conditions of service of the Civil Services of British West Africa. It introduced the idea of 2 levels of staff consultations, one for the junior service and the other for the senior service.
4. Pre-Independence Civil Service
Lidbury Commission (1950)
This was the first real attempt made to reform the structures of the machinery of government and the public service. It made wide ranging recommendations namely:-
1. re-designing of the structure of the machinery of government;
2. restructuring of the Civil Service;
3. establishment of statutory corporations to assume certain functions of government; and
4. new salary structure and conditions of service.
For the restructuring of the Civil Service, the Commission adopted the British system as a model. As a result, the Departments and portfolios in the Colonial Office were converted into Ministries when the Gold Coast gained internal self- government in 1951.Since then, many Ministries and Government Departments have been created, restructured or re-aligned to suit the needs of the times.
5. Independence Civil Service
The Independence of Ghana heralded an era when emphasis was placed on development and public welfare. Civil Servants therefore became the main instruments for executing /implementing this agenda.
6. Republican Civil Service
In line with the 1960 first Republican Constitution, a New Charter for the Civil Service was published. It defined the functions of the Civil Service, its control and administration in order to ensure that it is efficiently designed and properly equipped to support and to take its full share in the development of the country in line with the vision of the Government and the aspirations of the people. In addition, the Civil Service Act 1960 (CA5) was passed. The Law provided for the following:-
1. The creation of Civil Service posts,
2. The setting up of Ministries and Departments,
3. The appointment and retirement of Civil Servants, and
4. Conditions of service, disciplinary proceedings and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Civil Service Act 1960 (Act CA5) was later complemented by the Civil Service (Interim) Regulations, 1960(L.I.47) which provided for the following:-
1. The creation of a Ghana Civil Service Commission,
2. The structure of the Ghana Civil Service and
3. The filling of vacancies in the Ghana Civil Service among others.
In September, 1965, the Civil Service (Amendment) Act, 1965, (Act 303) was passed. One important feature of this law was the establishment of the Establishment Secretariat and the creation of the position of Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet. This Act subsisted until the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution and the Civil Service Law 1993 (PNDCL327) Both pieces of legislation made the Ghana Civil Service part of the Public Services of Ghana and defined the Service as comprising service in a civil office of Government. (central and local government)
Public Services Structure and Salaries Commission
- (Mills Odoi Commission)
This Commission was established in 1966 by the NLC to review the structure and organization of the public services so as to gear the machinery of Government to the rapid social and economic development of the country, and recommend new salary structures for the public services in line with the general economic circumstances of the country at that time, among others. Its recommendations were adopted, particularly its reform of the machinery of government, i.e. the policy of decentralization and salary recommendations.
Commission on the Structure and Procedures of the Ghana Civil Service
- (Okoh Commission)
This reform initiative was undertaken in 1974 by the National Redemption Council (N.R.C.) Its main terms of reference was to investigate the organization and structure of the Civil Service and its methods of operation and to make recommendations for reforms with special regard to the need to transform the Civil Service into a dynamic instrument of social change and economic development. Its major recommendations were to the effect that:-
1. A new and separate post of Head of Civil Service should be created and appointment made from the regular Civil Service to fill the post which should remain a career post for Civil Servants.
2. The Head of Civil Service should have direct access at all times to the Head of Government and report to him on Civil Service matters.
3. The Principal Secretary post should no longer be the preserve of members of the Administrative Class. It should be open to all Civil Servants and to persons outside the Civil Service.
4. There should be established a Civil Service Department to provide professional support service required for effective central management of the Civil Service, among others.
5. Public Administration Restructuring and Decentralization Implementation Committee (PARDIC)
6. The PARDIC was set up by the PNDC to review the earlier reforms, particularly the Decentralization programme and to accelerate its implementation. One major recommendation of PARDIC is the introduction of 4 functional areas for Ministries and limiting the Ministries to policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation.
Civil Service Reform Program (CSRP) 1989
Civil Service Performance Improvement Programme (CSPIP) 1995
- New Reform Initiatives And The Way Forward
- In view of the limited success of previous reforms, new initiatives aimed at further reforming the Ghana Civil Service have been launched to enable the Ghana Civil Service to position itself to deliver the country’s governance and development agenda. These include:-
- Review of skills mix in the Ghana Civil Service to ensure optimal staffing using approved organizational structure of MDAs.
- Re-centralization of training, recruitment, promotion and related budgets to ensure equity, transparency and a uniform standard.
- Undertaking accelerated training for Civil Servants especially for the leadership of the Service.
- The development of service delivery standards.
- Reform and improvement of pay and pensions programme.
- Improvement in the condition of work of Civil Servants.
- Implementation of a robust performance management system.
- Review of the Ghana Civil Service law, rules and regulations/Administrative Instructions and code of conduct.
- Using ICT Systems to speed up data handling and communication.
- Review and simplification of processes and improvement in the mode and form of storage of files, folders and data.
- Inculcation of strong professional code of ethics into the mind-sets of Civil Servants.
- Mission & Vision
- The Vision
- A client-oriented human resource management organization, offering excellent services and supportive leadership
- The Mission
- The Office of the Head of Civil Service exists to provide dynamic leadership for the efficient management of human resources and the promotion of effective organizational development for the Ghana Civil Service
- Core Values
In furtherance of its vision, mission, and corporate image, the OHCS is guided by the following core values:
3. Customer sensitivity
Management of The Civil Service
- Office of the Head Of Civil Service (OHCS)
Civil Service Council (CSC):- At the apex of the structure is the Civil Service Council. This is the governing board for the entire Ghana Civil Service. It gives policy direction on Human Resource issues and approvals for human resource management decisions in the Ghana Civil Service.
Immediately below the Council, is the Head of the Ghana Civil Service, who as the name suggests, is the head of the entire Ghana civil service. He is answerable to the President through the Civil Service Council. He implements the decisions of the Civil Service Council. On day to day basis, he manages the entire service through Management Services Division (MSD), PRAAD and the various Directorates at OHCS.
The Civil Service Council is the Governing body of the Civil Service. It is supported by the Head of Civil Service, who, prior to the Okoh Commission, was both the Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet.
The OHCS was created in 1980 as a successor to the Establishment Secretariat with Mr. J.H. Sackey as the first Head. The Office was created as a center for Human Resource Management for the entire Ghana Civil Service. This strategically placed the OHCS under the purview of the Presidency.
- Current Head of the Civil Service
Mr. Joe Donkor Issachar is the current Head of the Ghana Civil Service. He assumed office as Head of Civil Service on 1st June 2006. Mr. Issachar started his career in the Civil Service in September 1974 in the Administrative Class on the grade of Assistant Secretary. He rose through the ranks and became the Regional Coordinating Director (RCD) for the Ashanti Region in September 1995. The last position he held before being appointed to the position of Head of the Ghana Civil Service was Secretary to H.E. the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana from June 2001 to June 2006. He is married with children.
- Legal Framework
PNDC law 327 section 5(1) sets the legal framework for the OHCS. Section 5(2) created the following Directorates, Divisions and Units.
The OHCS ensures that the Civil Service is staffed with competent personnel and the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) well organized to provide excellent services to their diverse publics.
Section 5(2) provides for the creation of the following Directorates, Divisions and Units:-
1. Personnel, Policy and Management Directorate,
2. Training and Manpower Development Directorate,
3. Management Services Directorate,
4. General Administration Division,
5. General Services Unit,
6. Salaries Administration Unit,
7. Research Unit,
8. Public Relation Unit,
9. Public Complains Unit,
10. Civil Service Reform Co-coordinating Unit.
Composition and Functions of Directorate of OHCS
Section 5(3) states: “the composition and function of directorates, divisions, and units shall be determined by the Head of the Civil Service”.
In the exercise of this authority, the Head of Civil Service over the year have undertaken reorganization and re-alignment resulting in the creation of the following directorates:
- The Chief Director (C.D)
Below the Head of Civil service is the Chief Director, the bureaucratic head and the spending officer of the OHCS. The Chief Director is the chief advisor to the Head of the Civil Service on all matters relating to the smooth operations of the OHCS in particular and the Civil Service in general. The Chief Director also coordinates the activities of the various Directorates and Units of the OHCS.
Below the Chief Director are the following Directorates and Departments:-
- Research Statistical Information Management (RSIM)-This Directorate is responsible for providing data/information on human resource issues for evidence based policy formulation and decision-making.
- Recruitment and Training Directorate (RTD) This Directorate is the focal point for the recruitment of qualified and competent personnel as well as their training.
- Career Management Directorate (CMD)-This Directorate provides leadership and guidance for effective career management in the Civil Service.
- Policy and Standards Directorate (PSD)-This Directorate is responsible for the initiation, formulation and review of administrative instructions, rules and regulations in the Civil Service.
- Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate (PMED)-This Directorate is responsible for facilitating the strengthening of institutional capacity of MDAs through the formulation of performance improvement and monitoring policies.
- Finance and Administration Directorate (FAD) This Directorate is responsible for providing administrative and financial support services for the efficient running of the all the directorates of OHCS.
- Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD)-This Department manages the records of the entire civil service. It facilitates and promotes good recordkeeping and practices in all MDAs.
Departments and Institutions under the OHCS
- These are:-
- Management Services Department (MSD) This department is the management consulting arm of the civil service.
- Government Secretarial School. Responsible for the training of high calibre secretarial staff for the Civil Service and other public sector organizations.
- Civil Service Training Centre. The Centre is responsible for the training of lower and middle level Civil Servants.
- Institute of Technical Supervision. The Institute is responsible for training and Manpower Development in the area of technical supervision.
To ensure the efficient performance of its core functions as HR managers of the Ghana Civil Service, the OHCS has the following directorates:
RTD: Recruitment, Training and Development Directorate.
PSD: Policies and Standards Directorate
PMD: Performance Management Directorate
RSIM: Research, Statistics and Information Management Directorate
CMD: Career Management Directorate
F&A: Finance and Administration Directorate