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Ghana: The Civil Service
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > The Fourth Republic > The Civil Service


The civil service, an integral part of the executive branch of government, is a major component of the public services of Ghana, which come under supervision of the Public Services Commission. Ghana's civil service is organized along British lines and constitutes one of the most enduring legacies of British colonial rule. The 1992 constitution provides that the president, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Services Commission, appoint a public officer to head the civil service.

The civil service is Ghana's single largest employer, and its union is large and strong. It recruits graduates of Ghana's three universities and other educational institutions through a system of competitive examinations. Staffing of the civil and the public services with competent personnel is the principal function of the Public Services Commission, which serves as the government's central personnel agency.

The Office of the Head of Civil Service includes a large team of administrators, executive and management analysts, and other technical experts. These officials supervise a hierarchy of graded personnel working in such areas as health, agriculture, transportation and communications, and local government. Working in cooperation with them are other state bodies such as the Chieftaincy Secretariat, Audit Service, Public Services Commission, and the Ghana Cocoa Board. Since the launching in 1983 of the ERP, an austere economic program that the NDC government of the Fourth Republic continues to implement, the civil service has been cut drastically. Despite the retrenchment, civil servants have not engaged in organized protests or strikes, despite threats to do so.

Data as of November 1994

Last Updated: November 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Ghana was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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