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Government’s Policies Need to be Workable Programmes – Newman
Source: http://vibeghana.com/2012/06/12/governments-policies-need-to-be-workable-programmes-newman/
Source Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: Ghana
Created: Jun 13, 2012

Mr Henry Martey Newman, Chief of Staff, Office of the President has said government’s interventionist policies would remain theoretical concepts unless they were translated into workable programmes to meet the needs of the citizenry.

This, he said, would provide the right opportunities and platform for citizens to share their ideas with others, create a channel for feedback and empower citizens to demand for transparency and accountability from Government.

He said “it is only in this light that we can speak about effective governance and ensure sustainable development. It should be a citizen-centered approach where public servants would create opportunities for citizens to identify and solve problems themselves.”

Mr Newman made the observation at the launch of United Nations Public Service Day Celebration, slated for June 16 -23, on the theme: ‘Innovation in Citizen Engagement for Effective Governance’ in Accra on Tuesday.

He said the week-long celebration was to celebrate the values and virtues of the public service to the community, highlight the contributions of the public service in the development process, recognise the work of public servants and encourage people to pursue careers in the public sector.

Mr Newman said activities would be held to recognise the important contributions that public service organisations make in fulfilling a multi-discipline agenda, improving public service delivery, protecting the rights of citizens and promoting good governance for sustainable development.

He said no government could assume the complete responsibility of meeting the needs of its citizens saying while each individual government had its manifesto to implement, it was important to note that for proper participation, there was the need for effective systems for citizen engagement to reconcile their multiple interests with national aspirations.

“Participation is the fundamental way forward in achieving this objective. Citizen engagement helps to deepen democracy strengthen social capital, facilitate efficiency, sustain growth, promote pro-poor initiatives, equity and social justice,” he added.

Mr Newman said public service institutions must capture in their programmes and projects, the concerns, felt needs and views of citizens to ensure the well-being of the communities and societies they served.

He said “no matter how we see citizen engagement, the long term view must be to recognise that society comprise persons with different choices and competing interests. Consequently public service institutions must, in promoting public accountability and redirecting policy formulation and decision making, be responsive to the needs of citizens”.

Mr Newman said government acknowledged the important role of the public service in the development of the country, but advised against negative work attitudes such as unethical behaviour, habitual absenteeism, reporting to work late, poor performance and poor service delivery which were on the increase in the public service.

He gave the assurance that government was mindful of the challenges facing the various organisations due to the competing demands on the over-stretched national revenue and pledged government’s support to public service organisations to enable them improve on their service delivery.

Some activities lined up for the celebration include a health walk by all public servants, health screening, television and radio talk shows, a press soiree and awards night. GNA
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