Major shake-up at NACOB

cocaine_pix.jpgA major restructuring and expansion exercise at the Narcotics Control
Board (NACOB) has been announced to strengthen the capacity of the
board to deal more effectively with the drug trade in the country.

As
part of the exercise, new directorates and specialised units have been
created, with specific functions in Finance and Administration, Demand
Reduction, as well as Enforcement and Control.

The specialised units include Internal Audit, Project and Information Management and Legal and Public Relations.

Furthermore,
a rotational system for NACOB personnel and operatives has been
introduced, especially for those operating at the Kotoka International
Airport.

Operations at NACOB have also been decentralised into the northern, middle and western zones.

The
Executive Secretary of NACOB, Mr Benjamin Botwe, who made this known to
the Daily Graphic, said, "We want to create a system, not individuals,
since it is more difficult to corrupt a system than it is to corrupt
individuals."

He said the restructuring of the board was to
ensure an environment in which offices would be assigned specific jobs
with specific objectives.

"We have created a solid
organisational base on which future operations can depend," he said,
adding that under the directorates, there were also departments
charged, with specific responsibilities.

He said the board has
to decentralise its activities since the drug problem had ceased to be
a problem of only Accra, hence the need to spread the board’s
operations to other parts of the country.

Mr Botwe indicated
that inter-agency co-ordinating committees, made up of representatives
of the board, the security agencies and other institutions, had also
been set up to co-ordinate activities.

A new conditions of
service document had been developed and approved by the board, he said,
and added that the non-financial components of the document had been
implemented.

"The financial components are with the Ministry
of Finance and Economic Planning and the Fair Wages Commission, from
whom approval is being awaited for implementation," he said.

Mr
Botwe said the right working environment had been established through
the provision of new sets of furniture, as well as computers and
internet access for staff, "instead of the situation where only one
person used to have access to the internet".

The board, he
said, had signed an agreement with the Public Sector Reforms Ministry
for the establishment of a client service centre where all information
on NACOB could be obtained through fax, phone or e-mail.

"In
the past NACOB’s operations are closed. We are trying to make it an
open organisation," he said, adding that a document, Standard Operating
Procedure for NACOB, had been developed, in addition to a three-year
strategic plan (2008-2010).

Mr Botwe, who is on secondment
from the Food and Drugs Board, said for the first time, recruitment of
staff was done through a public advertisement in the Daily Graphic and
that interviews were conducted by representatives from the Office of
the Head of the Civil Service, the Public Services Commission, the
Directorate of Human Resource at the Ministry of the Interior and the
Governing Board.

He said there was industrial harmony at NACOB
and that when the rumour of a pending strike came to the notice of
management, he took the opportunity to explain the steps that had been
taken to resolve the salary issue and cautioned especially those who
were on probation on the implications of their action in relation to
the Labour Law.

According to him, an open administration had
been instituted, with a three-tier democratic governance structure
comprising top management meetings, middle management meetings and
staff durbars, to give staff the opportunity to ask questions bothering
them.

Mr Botwe disclosed that the board had taken delivery of
a custom-built toilet for expelling drugs from persons who had
swallowed drugs for trafficking, explaining that the facility would be
installed in a fortnight.

Source Daily Graphic