The 16 regional ministers and their respective regional coordinating directors (RCDs) have signed the 2020 Performance Contract with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Accra, which forms a benchmark for their assessment.
Mr Kwasi Adjei-Boateng, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, and Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service, jointly signed on behalf of the Government.
Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, in an address read on her behalf, said the objective of the contract was to improve performance by providing the chief directors feed-back on how well or badly they were doing.
It is also to discuss needed changes in their behaviour, skills, attitude or knowledge of the job, thus bringing to the fore the strengths and weaknesses of chief directors.
She said when results of performance assessment were published, the chief directors saw clearly their level of performance as against the expected level of performance.
"When this happens, I expect Regional Ministers to encourage your chief directors and support them to improve on their current performance," she said.
"By so doing, it will enhance their career development and bring about efficiency in the management of the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs)."
Hajia Mahama said the President was focused on achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid by economically and socially developing Ghana from the grass root through policies such as the One District, One Factory, One Village-One Dam, One Constituency-One Million Dollars, Planting for Food and Jobs, and Planting for Export and Rural Development.
She said though they were laudable policies, they would not be effective without the supervision of the RCCs through the coordination, backing, monitoring and evaluation of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) programmes and activities to drive the process.
"It is therefore, timely to employ such a key strategy of measuring the performance of leadership of the RCCs against set indicators towards the achievement of these policies," the Minister stated.
She said additionally, the creation of new regions and districts came with additional responsibilities for local government professionals and that they were expected to use innovative ideas to transform the new RCCs and MMDAs from their infant status to the desired economically viable institutions they wished them to be.
"I therefore, urge the Office of the Head of Local Government Service to, as a matter of urgency, develop special indicators to measure the performance of these new RCCs and MMDAs to challenge them to the higher responsibilities that we desire them to assume."
The Minister charged the regional ministers and the RCDs to work hard to change the perception by a section of the public that the Local Government Service was incompetent and insensitive to the needs of their people.
"I am convinced that it is with a view to changing this negative perception that your targets were selected for the various thematic areas of your performance agreement."
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, on his part, said the performance contract was to support high level leadership and accountability by the Local Government Service.
"Performance is critical in creating a committed workforce needed to support Local and National Development efforts".
Some challenges performance contracts had solved included slow delivery of services, inefficient use of resources, disunity among employees, employee dissatisfaction and duplication of roles and duties.
"Performance contract, therefore, should not only be seen as a tool for assessing the performance of RCDs but also as a mechanism for assessing progress of general governance of respective RCCs."