Public service is a service which is provided by government for people. within its jurisdiction. It is also a service performed for the benefit of the public especially by a non-profit organization.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLIC SERVICE
- PROVISION OF SERVICE: It provides social amenities like electricity, pipe borne water, schools, etc.
- IT SERVES THE COMMON GOOD: It has the purpose of serving the common good. It renders essential service to the public and in the process makes little profit or break even.
- OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL: The public service is owned and controlled by the government both in its management and functioning.
- PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: The public service owes accountability to the people as it is funded through public money.
- WIDE COVERAGE: The public service covers all area and activity. There is hardly any field of activity that is not covered by the operation of public service.
- HIERARCHY OF AUTHORITY: In every public service, a formal hierarchy must exist.
- CERTAINTY OF RULES AND REGULATIONS: The organization requires plenty of control by rules and regulations.
ROLES OF PUBLIC SERVICE IN A DEMOCRACY.
- POLICY FORMULATION: It formulates policies.
- POLICY EXECUTION: It executes government policies and laws.
- RECORD KEEPING: Public servants keep records of government decisions and activities.
- PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT: Public servants educate the people on government programmes and activities.
- PROVISION OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: This another important function performed by public service.
- PROVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES: They provide social services to the people.
- BUDGET PREPARATION: The public servants provide information that help in the preparation and execution of annual budget.
- ADVICE TO THE GOVERNMENT: The public service and its public servants give useful advice to the government through the ministers.
REASONS FOR THE SHORTCOMING OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE IN NIGERIA.
- BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION: Corruption exists in the public service.
- CAREFREE ATTITUDE: Most public servants approached their work with indifference. They are often not committed to their work.
- INADEQUATE FINANCE: In many part of the country, the public is not financially self sustaining.
- BUREAUCRACY: This refers to the excessive use of formalities in the public service which militate against its effectiveness.
- TRIBALISM: Recruitment in the public service is based on ethnic loyalty instead of merit.
- GODFATHERISM, NEPOTISM AND FAVOURITISM: These exist in the public service.
- INEFFICIENCY: Most public service organization experience inefficiency and poor productivity.
- LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY: As a result of bribery and corruption, there is no accountability in the public service.
WAYS OF IMPROVING PUBLIC SERVICE IN NIGERIA.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Accountability must exist in the public service.
- MERRIT SYSTEM: The appointment and promotion of public servants should be based on merit and not on god-fatherism, nepotism and favoritism.
- STAFF TRAINING: The staff of public service must be trained regularly.
- REGULAR AUDITING OF ACCOUNT: There should be regular internal and external auditing of account of public service organization.
- FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION: The fight against corruption must be intensified.
- ADEQUATE FINANCE: The public service should be properly financed.
- REFRESHER COURSES BE ORGANISED: Some categories of staff can be sent overseas for refresher courses. Within the country, they should be exposed to regular lectures and seminar to sharpen their skill.
STRUCTURE OF PUBLIC SERVICE.
- Administrative class: Notable in this class is the permanent secretary.
- Executive class: They are the set of officials that run the day to day activities of the minster.
- Professional Class: This class consists of specialist in their chosen field e.g. engineers, doctors, lawyers etc.
- Clerical Class: Here we have the typist, receptionist, stenographers etc.
- Messengerial Class: Found in this class are the messengers, cleaners, drivers, security, etc.