We will protect the pension funds – CLOSSAG
The Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) on Monday saluted all its members and urged them to reflect on their achievements and limitations in order to forge ahead with confidence in the coming years.
In a statement to mark May Day, a day set aside in solidarity with workers across the globe, it said “CLOGSAG takes this opportunity to salute its ardent and committed members for the various contributions to civil and local governance activities leading to effective administration in the Civil and Local Government Services”.
Issued in Accra by Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, ahead of the 2018 May Day Celebration which falls on Tuesday May 1, on the theme “Improving Service Delivery in the Civil Service- A shared responsibility,” the statement said it will stand its grounds and not allow any money to be taken out of the Pension Funds in the Custodian bank.
It said there were some conditions, which should be met including the validation by National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) of a well-defined method for the calculation of fees that leaves no room for manipulation of any kind.
Also the approval of the initial basis by NPRA for accessing fees from the custodian banks by all service providers including fees and charges to be paid to trustees of Hedge Master Trust Occupational Pension Scheme.
The Association blamed the Minister for Finance for recruiting staff outside the Civil Service, to head various divisions or departments within the Ministry of Finance.
It said there were situations, where some Ministers have assumed administrative responsibilities (ultra-vires) and signed letters for Civil Servants to proceed on leave.
It said where some of these civil servants were deemed lucky, they were side lined for “Special Assistants” of these Ministers to encumber their positions.
To forestall these developments, the statement asked that the affected Ministers should be called to order.
It said the excessive use of political power to obstruct laid down procedures and processes in appointments and administrative matters needed to be addressed.
It said the extreme case, being the appointment of internal auditors by these affected Ministers.
The statement said it was a clear violation of procedures in the Civil Service and it was not uncommon to, eventually, blame civil servants for the lapses of these non-career civil servants often called Special Assistants.
The desire to contribute to national development stems from the fact that workers were expected by law to “work conscientiously in their lawfully chosen occupation” to enhance productivity, the statement said.
It said members were aware of their responsibility to the government as partners in development, it behoves on CLOGSAG to bring up issues that were likely to mar the existing cordial relations.
Another canker that was attacking the roots of efficiency within the government machinery, the statement noted, was wanton consultancies to private entities, through such consultancies private individuals and companies have got access to confidential information on workers within the civil service.
“Nowadays, it was a common phenomenon for their members to receive telephone calls from some companies or enterprises addressing them with their personal details.
“The caller had virtually got all the personal details, which were supposed to be confidential information on the worker at his disposal,” adding that “This is not a healthy development and could be the source of leakages in the Civil and Local Government Services.”
It, therefore, called on the Government to bring a stop to this practice, if proper monitoring and evaluation of consultancies were carried out.
“After all, the cost of some of these consultancies are far higher than the recurrent expenditure of some of the ministries”.
It said CLOGSAG was aware that, as at now, there were no committees or bodies assessing the effectiveness, impact and relevance of consultancies procured in the Civil Service.
It urged the Government to initiate programmes to assess the impact of both local and international consultancies.
The statement said another disturbing feature within the Civil Service was the practice of outsourcing core functions of institutions to private entities and it was envisaged that out-sourcing some core functions would enhance and improve performance.
“It was not intended to ‘kill’ or make the original institution dysfunctional, unfortunately, we are finding ourselves in a situation where more core functions of some institutions or departments are being given out and the institutions are gradually grinding to a halt,” it added.
It said as an Association, CLOGSAG launched the Political Neutrality Project that sought to publicize the Supreme Court ruling on political neutrality to its members, so that they would serve the public better.
The Association said it expected the Government would address the issue of political interference in the administration of the Civil and Local Government Services and assess the impact of consultancies to complement the efforts of CLOGSAG in contributing to the improvement in service delivery.
It assured it members that the Executives were continuously monitoring the Pension Funds to the extent that not a pesewa in terms of fees had been transferred or paid to any of our service providers.
It said this was the time for members of to reflect on its achievements and limitations in order to forge ahead with confidence.