Former President Jerry John Rawlings on Wednesday called on members of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) to ensure that the Civil Service is recognised as professional, independent and not susceptible to petty political intrigues.
He said: “We may have our political sympathies or allegiances but that should not be allowed to override the logic and integrity of our input into government programmes.”
An official statement said the former President, who was speaking as a special guest of honour at the 11th Quadrennial Congress of the CLOGSAG in Cape Coast, also called on politicians to be patient to understand the past and present policy underpinnings in order to make informed decisions.
He counselled civil servants to stringently adhere to their core values and ethics so that the general public could better appreciate their role instead of the perception that the Civil Service was a “large bureaucracy that epitomises bad customer service, deliberate delay tactics and efficiency”.
Former President Rawlings criticised the past government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its lack of integrity, which affected the quality of the Civil Service and expressed concern about the repeated failure of the current government to investigate the crimes perpetrated by that regime.
“We (in the NDC) ought to take advantage of our moment and see how best we can get back some of our lost integrity. The party grew out of the conscience of Ghanaians,” he said.
The former President praised the late Nathan Quao, a distinguished civil servant, for his selfless dedication to the civil service and his personal sense of discipline.
“We must not allow Mr Nathan Quao’s selfless service to go unrecognised. If the government does nothing about it I will personally do my bit,” he said.
The Chairman of the Civil Service Council and former Head of Civil Service, Dr Robert Dodoo, who was the Chairman of the occasion, described former President Rawlings as “illustrious, indefatigable and indestructible” saying the former President had always showed love and concern for civil servants.
Mr James Amissah, Acting Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, also recounted how President Rawlings reinstated civil servants who had been dismissed after they demonstrated against their conditions of service in 1979.