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PEF ENGAGES ADMINSITRATIVE AGENCIES ON SERVICE DELIVERY CHARTERS

 

A cross section of participants during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra


Private Enterprise Federation, (PEF) with the assistance of Star Ghana is engaging other stakeholders to form a strategic partnership to prevent and fight administrative corruption in Ghana, (the “SPPACG Project”). This will be a nationwide project that seeks to achieve the following objectives:
1.    A transparent, efficient, cost effective, and fair service delivery to the private sector and citizenry by the administering public institutions.
2.    Adoption of a mandatory electronic application system (at least two of the crosscutting licensing requirements).
3.    The generation of requisite data to support advocacy positions on the cost of corruption (monetary terms and denial of prompt service delivery) to the country.
4.    Well informed private sector and citizenry on their roles and responsibilities in preventing and fighting administrative corruption.
Findings in the Baseline Report have been confirmed and validated as follows:
a.    Legislative, regulatory and policy changes since 2013 means that rather than seven (7) cross-sectoral licenses, a business requires thirteen (13) cross-sectoral licenses, permits/certificates to operate in Ghana, particularly where such business has foreign participation in the ownership or workforce of the business.

b.    The Town and Country Planning Ordinance, 1945 (Cap 84) has been repealed by the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority Act, 2016 (Act 925).

c.    The Factories, Offices and Shops Act, 1970 (Act 328) has not been repealed. It has also not been amended since 2012, (the date of the PEF Report). It may however be complemented by other pieces of legislation in Ghana such as the Labour Act, 2003, (Act 651), Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997 (Act 537), and Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1987, (P.N.D.C.L. 187) as amended, until it is overhauled to reflect current standards.

d.    With the exception of the Registrar Generals’ Department, there is absence of an electronic application platform in the other Administering Agencies.

e.    There still exist uncoordinated approaches to the approval processes.

f.    All the three Service Delivery Charters do not state the responsibilities of employees of the Administering Agency on the one hand, and that of the end users on the other hand. Such a clear statement of responsibilities makes for transparency and trust as the public is aware what duties to legitimately expect from the Administering Agency’s employees, and what options they have, should employees of the Administering Agency fail to deliver on these responsibilities. Such clear statement also enables end users know what is required of them in the permit/licensing and certification process. Such a provision is crucial to accountability and empowering the public to hold themselves and employees of the various Administering Agencies accountable for those responsibilities.

g.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters do not contain a checklist of the documents that applicants must present on applying for a license/permit/certificate nor the practices and procedures involved in such applications. Providing a checklist of the documents required and the processes involved makes for efficiency and prevents undue delays as applicants are able to cut out delay from non-submission of required documents. It also empowers the end users to assist the EPA in the delivery of efficient and cost effective services.

h.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters do not state the fees payable for the specific services to be provided, so the fees cannot be reviewed in this Report. A good Service Delivery Charter must stipulate the fees for each service, as this bolsters transparency, empowers the public to differentiate between approved and unapproved fees, and is crucial to preventing and fighting administrative corruption.

i.    All of the three Service Delivery Charters either contain no complaint redress provisions or ineffective complaint redress mechanisms. An effective complaint resolution procedure must state specific officials or contact persons to whom complaints must be addressed, and, timelines within which to address these complaints. This is an important part of an equal opportunity policy, and helps the Agency deal with complaints quickly, fairly and consistently. Sufficiently detailed complaint redress provisions and a customized complaint management software will aid in quick and effective resolution of disputes.

j.    Although the EPA Service Delivery Charter contains a provision that lists the services that the EPA provides and the timelines for the delivery of these services, the provision omits two of EPA’s key services and the timelines for these two key services – the issuance of EPA permit and EPA certificate.

k.    All of the three existing Service Delivery Charters generally state the Mission and Vision of the administering agency, but not the Objectives.

l.    The EPA’s Vision as stated in its Service Delivery Charter is too long, and thus not easy to remember/memorise. A good Vision statement should be short, simple and specific to the services that the Agency renders to the public. It should not leave anything open to interpretation, and should have ambition. This makes it easy for employees and the public to remember or memorize and to identify with.

m.    Two of the three existing Service Delivery Charters do not contain the logo/symbols of the Administering Entity. Logos are known to give an added sense of identity to an entity, and evoke some level of connection with its clients. The importance of a logo to the identity of an entity cannot be overemphasized.

n.    All of the three Charters do not stipulate timelines for periodic reviews. A good Charter must stipulate timelines for periodic reviews to ensure continuously improves its service delivery and that keeps up to date with the needs of the public.

o.    All of the Service Delivery Charters were not available online. There was also not evidence that these Charters had been publicized widely particularly in the media. A Charter cannot be effective unless end users are aware of its existence.



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