Coordinating directors in the metropolitan municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), for the first time, are to sign performance contracts, just as their respective political heads.
In the past, only metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) signed performance contracts with the President and took sole responsibility for any lapses in the management of the various assemblies.
However, with the coming into force of the new Local Government Service Act, which integrates departments in the MMDAs in the management of the assemblies, coordinating directors have assumed a wider role in the assemblies, which has made it necessary for them to sign performance contracts.
The head of the Local Government Service, Mr Kwasi Oppong-Fosu, told newsmen in Kumasi that the coordinating directors would be measured in areas such as environmental management, human resource development, as well as health, education, roads and electricity.
Mr Oppong-Fosu, said these after the end of a three-day senior management training workshop for directors of the MMDAs and the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) in the northern sector of the country, said if they failed to work satisfactorily, the appropriate sanctions would be taken against the coordinating director.
Henceforth, he said, all the departmental heads in the MMDAs would report to their respective coordinating directors instead of their regional heads.
That, he noted, posed a challenge to the coordinating directors to ensure that they work satisfactorily. That was why the Local Government Service organised the workshop to help improve the capacity of the participants in the face of the implementation of the Local Government Service Act.
One key area where a lot would be expected of the directors is the management of the administrative and political environment in a way that would ensure that their actions are not seen as political.
Coordinating directors, Mr Oppong-Fosu said, were the interface between the MMDCE and the civil service so they had to be competent in their delivery.
He further disclosed that appointments to the position of coordinating directors of the MMDAs was open to all qualified persons in the public service. Previously, only directors in the civil service could apply and be appointed to such positions.
Earlier in his closing remarks at the workshop, Mr Oppong-Fosu said in the past, coordinating directors were blamed for the non-performance of departments in their areas, even though the departmental heads did not take instructions from the coordinating directors but from their regional departmental heads.
With the new law, coordinating directors should have the capacity to manage the complex situation so that they take the blame if heads of departments failed to perform.
Mr Oppong-Fosu also told the directors to remain neutral in the political game because neutrality was a core value in the civil service.
“You are there to support the government of the day and not the party in power, “ he stressed.
He also advised the directors to open their doors to other political parties without compromising their neutrality.
Resource persons at the workshop included: Mr Joe Issachar, a former Head of the Civil Service; Nana Boakye Dankwa of the University of Ghana Business School, and Professor S.N. Wood, a former Chairman of the Public Services Commission.