Best solution to ghost names is to decentralise payroll - Domelevo

Domelevo Danny Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelevo

Wed, 15 Aug 2018 Source: ghananewsagency.orgn

The Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, has said decentralising Ghana’s payroll system was key in ensuring total eradication of ghost names on government payroll in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

He pointed out that the closer the payroll system was to the people, the easier it was to detect and eliminate ghost names. "We will soon make a recommendation to the government to move the payroll system closer to the people."

He said though government employed about 600,000 people out of the about 29 million Ghanaians, 45 per cent of government revenue was used to pay salaries of workers, thereby placing a huge deficit on infrastructure and other developmental goals.

Mr Domelevo, who said this during the briefing of heads of institutions and the media in Takoradi on the exercise to verify details of government employees, noted that seeing Ghana beyond aid and ensuring massive development required that those in the helm of affairs did the right thing.

He regretted that young graduates who were ready to work remained unemployed while the old, who were on government payroll, were not working, adding that "we can't sit aloof and allow wastage in government payroll".

The Auditor-General pointed out that the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone or unnecessarily remove names of workers from the government payroll, but to clean the names of those who were not supposed to be on the government payroll.

He said winning the fight against ghost names would, therefore, require that heads of management units at the regional and district levels were empowered by central administration to quickly eliminate names of those on separation or those who had died, which continued to eat a chunk of the government’s cake.

The two-week exercise in the region would run simultaneously in all the selected centres in the 23 districts, with more than 41,000 government staff expected to undergo the exercise.

In the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, 11,000 workers are expected to verify their status at the Regional Co-ordinating Council, the Teachers Resource centre, Effia-Nkwanta and Takoradi hospitals, prisons and the Sekondi School for the Deaf (SEKDEAF).

“We need to change; we cannot afford the wastage of state funds, which could be channelled into development, as well as employing new staff to control unemployment.”

He wondered why people faked certificates and other documents to stay on the payroll, and said the law would not take it lightly on those found culpable, “We need information on impersonation as we clear the payroll of ghost names.”

Mr Domelevo explained that when someone dies, is separated or has resigned his or job, the head of institution was to write immediately to the bank for the person's salary to be transferred into the ‘Salary Suspense Account’ to go back to the state. "We are counting on you, heads of institutions, and any failure to act in accordance with the law will mean that we surcharge you with every cost."

Meanwhile, Act 187, clause 7 also empowers the Auditor-General to disallow the existence of people whose documents did not conform to their requirement, and it would only take the law court for such an individual to be re-instated.

Mr George Winful, Deputy Director, Central Government Audit Department, said getting a credible payroll system was a collective responsibility, and stressed the need to end the menace to save the country’s purse.

He said the problem of ghost names had been around for rather too long and there was the need to get it right to enhance the credibility of the system.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, lauded the move by the Auditor-General to ensure that all irregularities were erased from the government payroll, to help secure a credible and manageable payroll.

She, therefore, called on heads of institutions to educate their staff on the need to avail themselves for the exercise.

The Deputy Minister, who went through the verification exercise at the programme, called for co-ordinated efforts of all actors to ensure that by the end of the exercise, the payroll would be cleaned.

Source: ghananewsagency.orgn
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