998 staff: Efficiency is about achieving a lot with a few people – Foh-Amoaning
Much as the output is a very critical factor compared to numbers, it is equally important to note that very few persons can be used to achieve great results, Private Legal practitioner, Moses Foh-Amoaning has said.
Efficiency in his view is much more than just productivity, it is more about utilizing very few persons to produce greater results.
“I think that people say that efficiency has to do with numbers, it’s the first time I’m hearing this in sides because efficiency is more about the work you want to do than the number of people you want to achieve with it, so you can achieve a lot with very few people, that’s efficiency”, he said on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show.
According to him, the outrage of Ghanaians with respect to the number of staff working at the presidency could have been managed but for the poor performance by its communications department. The controversy surrounding the 998 figure given by government he says would have been avoided if the information hadn’t been rushed such that the actual figures would be released and the details including how many were inherited and how many were newly appointed attached accordingly, leaving no room for misgivings.
“Even the numbers we are not sure because opposition in parliament are churning out different figures and statistics coming from government is also slightly different so you want to be sure which numbers we are dealing with and that’s why I was concerned about giving us the real numbers from the beginning…If the numbers had been churned out properly and demarcated, then it would have made a lot of sense in terms of efficiency because it is obvious that this government wants to develop the country at a quicker pace, the president says he doesn’t have too much time, that he is in a hurry if the allocation of the 206 had been done well then it would have been easier for Ghanaians to manage”
“Parliament is on recess so it’s a matter of how you manage the information and aside the management, the way you churn out the information…. Certainly you should have made those distinctions, the number, presidential staffers, ministers and those that you inherited, that should have been made clear so that everybody will see that it wasn’t just a thousand thrown out there, he told host Paul Adom Otchere.
Mr. Foh-Amoaning also believes a law regulating the number of staff; minimum and maximum to be employed at the presidency should be created such that every government will be obliged to abide by these numbers to avoid any future eventualities.
“It is time that from a very broad perspective we look at a law that regulates the number of people that the government coming in can take. I am all for taking a more comprehensive look at the government machinery than numbers, the positions, and their relationship with the executive and the legislature, and their accountability and to the legislative arm of government. I think that should all be ironed out so that we all know going forward, the lower limit and the upper limit so we wouldn’t be shouting anymore,” he said .
His comments come on the back of recent outpours following the release of a report on the staffing position of the Office of the President revealing some 998 staff currently working at the seat of government.
The revelation made in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential Office Act, 1993 (Act 463) which requires the President to submit a report on the staffing position of the Office of the President annually was met with mixed reactions from the public, majority of Ghanaians expressing worry over the implications of the figure on the public purse.
While critics have accused government of failing on its promises to protect the public purse with the huge numbers it has implored under its government, some government officials in defense have maintained that the number though high is having less effect on the public purse compared to the 678 figure under the Mahama administration.
Outspoken Academician Professor Stephen Adei, commenting on the issue suggested that focus should be on the output these persons stand to provide for the country rather than concentrate solely on the numbers.