THE CONSTITUTION AND THE CIVIL SERVICE

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Foroyaa has observed frequent changes of permanent secretaries. It is not clear how the changes have come about. A review of the Constitution reveals that special provisions are created to indicate how permanent secretaries are to be appointed.

First of all there must be a head of the civil service according to section 168, which states in subsection (1):

“The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission, shall appoint a person holding an office in the public service on permanent terms to be the Head of the Civil Service. The Head of the Civil Service shall be the competent authority for the Civil Service.”

As head of the civil service the Constitution provides a consultative and advisory mandate to the head of the civil service in the appointment of permanent secretary without the intervention of the executive.

It is clearly spelt out in section 173 of the Constitution. Subsection (3) reads:

“The power to make an appointment to the office of permanent secretary of a department of the Government shall be exercised by the Public Service Commission in consultation with the Head of the Civil Service.”

It is therefore important for the head of the civil service to take the wordings in the Constitution.

Hence the head of the civil service should consult with the public service commission in order to come up with the appropriate general order for the appointment of permanent secretaries. 

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