Nana Otuo Siribour II, the Chairman of the Council of State, has called for the redefinition of redline corporate governance, with practice that goes beyond adherence to new ethics, integrity, honesty, and transparency.
He said corporate governance was more than just a set of guidelines and was a framework that underpinned the core values for running businesses and corporate entities, including a commitment to pen and transparent communications with stakeholders.
He advised Corporate Bodies, Directors, Council members and Management of public service institutions, to look beyond simple compliance with the letter of the new laws and regulations in a check-the-box.
He urged all Directors, Council members and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of corporate and public service institutions to remain the true stewards of corporate accountability, and their actions must demonstrate their dedication to this stewardship.
Nana Siribour II made the call at the maiden orientation workshop organized by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Accra, for Members of the newly elected Governing Boards and Councils of the government institutions.
The programme; which was aimed impacting positively on the management of public service institutions for improved service delivery was on the theme: "Good Governance Practices Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Governing Boards and Councils".
Nana Siribour II, who chaired the function said good corporate governance was crucial in improving long-term success and performances of institutions.
He urged them to do more to install and maintain an ethic organization-wide commitment to do the right thing, so much so that it becomes entwined in what could be perceived as the essential "DNA" of the organization.
He also urged Directors of Boards and Councils to be prepared to devote sufficient time for their duties, as inactive boards enabled management to plunder the corporation.
A more engaged board of directors and council members could help to identify pressure points, prevent small problems from spreading, and send a powerful message to an organisation's stakeholders that the Board was focused on its responsibilities, he said.
He said two points that were sometimes overlooked in the discussions of corporate governance, were the role of the board to provide strategic guidance and effective oversight, which must not be compromised.
Nana Siribour II stressed that allowing boards and councils to devolve in into operating committees, and to dilute their effectiveness and that of operating management, would not benefit stakeholders or employees, and could spell disaster for the institution.
He added that there were no one-size-fits-all solutions to the corporate governance challenge, as it was necessary for the bodies to make efforts to maintain governance structures and processes that were fit for all purpose and supported good decision-making by the board, he added.
He said the key was for companies and their boards to understand the need for greater transparency and accountability, and promote a corporate culture that was based on ethical values and behaviours, as that "weak governance in the Public Service organisations may lead to inefficiencies, low productivity, corruption and consequently, retard economic growth and the development of Ghana.
Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi, the Presidential Advisor on HIV, representing the Chief of Staff for the Keynote address said it was incumbent on all governing boards and councils to develop appropriate policies, rules and regulations, Codes of Conducts, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and strategies for promoting effective good governance practices to ensure effective delivery of their legal mandate.
She said moving Ghana forward could only be achieved if all behaved differently and called for a paradigm shift in the mentality, attitudes and behaviours.
She stated that although the public expected governing boards and councils by their appointment to the offices of trust, to perform their functions with integrity in a fair and unbiased manner, were identified areas of concern involving potential conflicts between their personal interests and duty to their Organisations.
Dr Adu-Gyamfi said there were conflicts between Boards, Councils and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in ensuring accountability to stakeholders particularly in this era of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
She urged Public Service Boards and Councils to provide the right vision and leadership for the furtherance of government businesses, and reminded their Chairpersons, Members and CEOs on the need to uphold the core ethics that governed their work, and to exhibit integrity in the discharge of their work, avoid double standards, be bold and resist fraudulent practices.
She asked all public sector leadership to be innovative in mobilising resources for their organisations to complement the efforts of government and leverage on technological opportunities presented by the pandemic and digitally transform some of their processes for service delivery in the public service and identify ways to address the technological skills gap.
Dr Janet Ampadu Fofie, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, said the two-day programme was the first in the series to be organized for newly appointed Governing Boards, Councils and Chief Executives of the Ghana Public Services, to provide them with information on their roles and mandate under Article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.