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General News Fri, 22 May 2009

2010 Census In Danger

…Workers to lay down tools if Government statistician, Dr. Grace Bediako is retained

…CLAIMING SHE HAS TURNED THE OFFICE INTO A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

Workers of Ghana Statistical Service are bracing themselves up for a showdown with the government statistician, Dr. Grace Bediako if she is retained. The workers have vowed to lay down their tools and embark on massive demonstration nationwide if what they perceive as deliberate attempt by some ex-ministers and directors to work their way into the ruling government to confirm Dr. Grace Bediako.

The workers contend that recent developments at the service clearly show a deliberate attempt by Dr. Grace Bediako to sabotage the census. They alleged that she initially wanted to inform the government that the census could not be carried out but for the insistence of some donor partners she would have called off this all important national exercise.

The workers further argued that her recent transfers of certain key personalities such as the Census Coordinator, the Head of Geography Department and the Head of the Mapping Exercise going on clearly indicate that she is heading for a big trouble. These are officers who have had two to three decades of censuses experiences and their competence can not be over emphasized. Some of the said officers have taken long leave while others are contemplating to resign. The workers also contend that whenever she embarks on a project she never comes out with the publications, examples they gave include the Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire, the Ghana living standard survey among others started three years ago, yet the publications are yet to see the light of day.

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The workers also contended that since June 2008, all completed district maps brought from the field are yet not drawn because she is treating such important projects as ‘normal duties,’ hence workers are not motivated to put in more efforts. Besides the census technical team, which needs to advice her on the project, she has allegedly refused to convene a meeting for the past two months now since they claim the decision taken are not implemented.

The workers are also claiming she has turned the office into a sole proprietorship where she is the only one in charge. For the past two years she has refused to cooperate with her deputy and currently, through a director at the Ministry of Finance and some class workers, she is trying to compel the deputy government statistician to resign, creating a vacuum for the government to confirm her. A copy of such a letter has been sighted. This is the same director who mysteriously signed a monthly salary of GH¢4,000 (¢40 million cedis) for her leaving out the orders. The office has virtually become her bona fide property, she is now the accountant, auditor, transport officer etc. when she travels, which she frequently does the whole office grinds to a halt because she is not on talking terms with her deputy.

The workers also say that for sometime now their promotions have stalled, graduates who graduated two to three years ago are still taking technical salaries since management has refused to promote them. A lot of them have so far left the office.

The above clearly show that she is not prepared to cooperate with workers to run this reputable organization and therefore the workers are calling on the government to as a matter of urgency appoint another government statistician to handle the affairs of the statistical service in a more professional way. The workers will be watching with close attention to the unfolding event.

Source: daily democrat
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