Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, James Klutse Avedzi, has lamented the huge sums of money the state had lost over the years with regards to unearned salaries paid staff of the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
Payments of unearned salaries according to the Auditor General’s report for the 2015 financial year, form a significant part of financial losses to the country to the tune of GhC505million.
Speaking to Citi News, the Ketu North MP lamented the situation, but expressed hope that an electronic payment system introduced by the then NDC administration will check the occurrence.
“These unearned salaries almost run through all the agencies that we are considering. An unearned salary is salary for work not done.”
He was hopeful that the e-salary platform introduced under the Mahama administration will help address the issue.
“We were worried, but fortunately the new system developed by the previous government started in 2015, which is the e-salary system, where before salary is paid to the workers at any department, the head of the department must confirm and authenticate the number of workers. Previously, we didn’t have that system so people are paid even when they are on retirement, their salaries keep coming. When they resign their salaries still keep coming. But the new system that has been developed will solve the problem and we hope that the 2016 audit report will not have issues of unearned salaries,” he added.
The Auditor General’s report stated taht Ghana lost more than GhC505 million through the activities of MDAs in the year 2015.
The amount according to the report, was from financial weaknesses in cash, tax, payroll, procurement, rent and contract irregularities as well as outstanding debts and loans.
The Health Ministry according to the report, recorded the highest financial irregularity of more than GHc25 million.
Payroll irregularities contributed significantly to the figure, as almost GHc600,000 unearned salaries were paid.
On the payroll irregularities, the report said “This was due mainly to payments of unearned salaries to separated staff, as a result of delays in deleting their names from the payroll, and delay in transferring unclaimed pensions and salaries to government chest by the banks.”
The Auditor General further recommended that, coordination between Finance and Human Resource Units within MDAs be intensified for prevention of such situations “as well as recovery of unearned salaries paid to unauthorized personnel.”
Ghana loses millions yearly
Reports from the Auditor General’s Department had shown that the country loses millions every year through the activities of MDAs, as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
This compelled pressure group, OccupyGhana, to drag the Auditor General to the Supreme Court for an order, directing the Auditor General to surcharge persons who cause such financial infractions.
According to Occupy Ghana, a thorough study of the Auditor General’s report revealed that, between 2003 and 2014, the total losses the state incurred in “irregularities” arising from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies was about GH¢2,448,968,912.29.
Retrieve ‘looted’ state cash – Supreme Court orders Auditor General The Supreme Court in June 2017, ordered the Auditor General to, with immediate effect; begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.