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Service persons frustrated; no vacancy, no access to website

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Two weeks after the release of the 2009/10 postings by the National Service Secretariat, there is some disquiet among some service persons whose fate remains uncertain.

The frustration is the result of the inability of institutions to absorb them due largely to prevailing financial constraints and the difficulty by the service persons to access the National Service Scheme (NSS) website to know their placements.

Some of the anxious service persons who have been converging daily at the secretariat, complained about how they continued to spend money and waste time to access the postings without results.

Some of them told the Daily Graphic that they had to travel several miles to their various registration centres, only to be redirected to other centres, a development which they attributed to the lack of communication on the part of the secretariat.

Others who said they had been able to access their postings, also complained that they had been turned away by the institutions they had been posted to. Reacting to the prevailing anxiety, the Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Vincent Senam Kuagbenu, said he was amused at the rate at which service persons were being turned away by some institutions, saying, “The secretariat advertised for user agencies which allowed companies to request for national service persons and the expertise the organisations required.”

 

He further explained that after the advertisement, the secretariat received responses from some organisations, along with the names of the persons they would like to be posted to their institutions, noting that this was unacceptable to the NSS because the secretariat was not an extension of any user agency.

According to him, the secretariat was negotiating with the various organisions to resolve the issue of national service persons who had been posted but had not been absorbed by the institutions involved.

M’r Kuagbenu said the system of the national service website would be improved next year to make access to it easier and faster.  He advised those who still faced difficulties in accessing their postings to lodge official complaints with the secretariat in Accra for assistance.

Some of the institutions which had turned away service persons told the Daily Graphic that there had been a major cut down in the number of service persons taken this year due to financial difficulties.

One such public institution said last year it engaged 40 national service persons but this year it could only engage 20.  In a related development, the NSS has said no member of staff of the service has been dismissed since the assumption of office of the executive director on July 20, 2009.

A statement signed and issued by the Board Chairman of the NSS, Mr W. Nkunu Akyea, said, “Despite media reports on the resignation of nine headquarters staff in sympathy with the accounting staff, no written notice of the said resignations has come to the attention of the board.”

It said preliminary enquiries had revealed that some of the persons said to have resigned only learnt about their purported resignation in the media.  The statement said media reports of an alleged petition said to have been sent by aggrieved staff of the NSS to President John Evans Atta Mills and purportedly copied to the board, among others, had not been received.

“The board further notes that the timing of the resignation of the entire accounting staff threatened maximum disruption to the functioning of the headquarters secretariat and the scheme,” it said.

The statement said the board wished to assure staff and the public that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that little or no disruption occurred in the operations at the headquarters and of the scheme.

Consequently, it said, the board had made arrangements with the Controller and Accountant-General for immediate replacement to secure the accounting function of the scheme.

It said arrangements had also been put in place to ensure that an ongoing special external audit of the NSS was not duly disrupted, with the assurance that the board had also instituted investigations into the allegations against the executive director.

Source: modernghana.com

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