Politics – Restoring honour to public Service 

By: Nii Allottey Brew-HammondChairman – Advisory Council, PPP

When I was growing up in the 1950s, Government Service was viewed as an honored obligation. 

Today, most of us do not associate honor with Government Service but tend to view Government Officials as corrupt – just there to “Create, Loot and Share” with their family and friends. 

We think “the best and the brightest” among us are either in the private sector or should be in the private sector. This is not healthy for National development. 

Public Service must demand good technical skills as well as an orientation to the inherent values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and justice. Those governing must see themselves first as citizens (and government workers second) with a passionate commitment to make Government work for all the people. Their primary touchstone must be their Oath of Office, which demands moral thought and action, and as trustees of values, such as family values. 

Government (the public servant) must ask if actions taken “establish Justice,” which may often mean acting with benevolence, charity and love for the people they serve. For honorable public service, efficiency and effectiveness — both paramount in the private sector — are not always the most important values to govern with, because the audience for Governments are citizens, not customers. Citizens need to be actively engaged, while customers need only to consume goods and services. 

President Akufo Addo, in his inaugural address reminded us not to be spectators but citizens. Presumably aware, that honorable public servants know that passive citizenry is not the ideal to seek because passivism makes their job easier, but rather passivism distances the public from its responsibility to share in governing. 

Recently, when a Minority member of the Appointments Committee, Mahama Ayariga, MP-Bawku Central, accused a Nominee of bribing 10 Minority members on the Appointments Committee to rubber stamp his nomination, a Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee tasked to investigate the bribery allegation rather found Hon. Mahama Ayariga guilty of contempt and ordered him to “render an unqualified apology to the House” and to “go and sin no more”, even though a recommended 

CCTV Camera footage as evidence was rubbished by the Ad Hoc Committee’s perception that “the public will get to know how CCTV Cameras installed in the House operates” if they examined the footage. What are they trying to hide, I might ask? 

When a majority of the ruling party’s parliamentarians went public to ask the President to sack his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to “restore hope in the financial sector”, the President promised them he will “act on their request after the initial IMF process is completed and the budget is passed”. This was in October 2022 and we are now in January 2024 with no action taken or visibly seen to have been taken. 

If we aim to restore honor to Government, we must educate government workers to understand the need for honorable actions. They must learn to think and understand the central values that govern our republican government to serve the people. Unfortunately, the response of some government inside-influencers to the morally courageous has too often been ostracism or retaliation, not support. 

While an honorable Government can hope for respect from a thankful public, they should not count on it. What they should count on is what they can control — meeting the highest standard of duty and fidelity to the people, which requires constant self-reflection and improvement. 

This approach must be systemic, therefore, as a policy we must look to establish a manpower development institute for Public Sector employees to go through understanding the role of the public sector employee in National development, i.e., to doing true service to the citizenry and being proud doing so. Training one’s responsibility to national building must be seen to be purposeful and intentional. 

The repulsive prevailing concept that one only goes into public service to enrich themselves must be eliminated. Like a well oiled machine, we can’t give up on the idea that we are better and can do better than what prevails. 

Related Post

No more posts to show

Post Comments

One thought on “Politics – Restoring honour to public Service ”

  1. locked-up funds says:

    How about informing GN Bank and GN Saving and Loans customers why no information is available on the status of the judgement concerning the bank license?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *