IMANI GHANA has called on government, its development partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fix government’s messy mechanised payroll before starting the IMF bailout programme.
Statements made by government in the ongoing bailout package have fingered the country’s bloated public wage bill as one of the sources of her economic decline.
Parties that are currently working on the bailout package include government, the IMF, World Bank, EU, DFID and others to help salvage the country’s depressing economic situation.
According to IMANI, if the IMF’s bailout package is to be successful, it is absolutely imperative that the bloated government wage bill should be arrested and corrected.
‘If this is not done, the funds Ghana receives via this package may end up in a bottomless pit via the same government wage payroll route.’
The think-tank continued that it has discovered major problems in all three areas – payroll administration, payroll rules and procedures as well as payroll processing technology – in government’s current payroll system.
‘IMANI has recently intercepted a report on the technology platform IPPD2 (Oracle) that is used to process a portion of the mechanised payroll. This damning report finally begins to expose why the GoG payroll is bloated and unreliable and contributing to the near collapse of our economy.
‘IMANI has also heard claims by The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) that all the issues mentioned in the report have been rectified such that the said payroll technology platform (IPPD2/Oracle) is now operating without any issues.’
Additionally, it said it has seen a report that states that the controversial technology platform (IPPD2/Oracle) has been proposed to Ghana’s donor partners as the way forward regarding the bailout package.
‘IMANI sources in the corridors of CAGD, Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) have assured IMANI that this claim is completely false.
‘These sources further claim that the cover-up of the system flaws are as a result of the gargantuan contract sums associated with the operation of the Oracle platform and the ‘chop chop’ thereof.’
They have further assured IMANI that there are far cheaper and far more efficient ways to computerise GoG payroll which are not being considered because of the ‘chop chop’ by their bosses.
Most Affected Victims
The Ghana Education Service (GES) which makes up the largest portion of GoG payroll was forced to migrate to another platform to clear the two-year plus wait period for new teachers to be mechanised including other major problems that contribute to corruption associated with running the payroll.
Ghana Health Service (GHS) employees who are still been processed on the Oracle platform still experience these long unnecessary enrollment delays.
Giving an assurance that it will continue to expose the matter especially as regards the said associated gargantuan contracts, IMANI has called on the IMF, World Bank, EU, DFID et al to immediately and urgently institute a thorough, transparent investigation into these issues if the bailout is to have any hope of succeeding.
A 2012 final audit report by an international audit agency on government’s payroll system (IPPD2) has revealed that there were 3,288 potential duplicate employees that have been identified in IPPD2 having identical first name, last name, national identifier, date of birth and joining date. This could potentially cause a major loss of revenue to GoG.
The agency recommended that as a matter of urgency, duplicate checks on employee first name, last name, date of birth and other key parameters if applicable should be introduced into IPPD2, adding that data entered during hire should be validated and rejected/notified in case of potential duplicates.
It also found out that there were 2,498 invalid/duplicate bank accounts being used by 55,219 employees in IPPD2.
‘This is a major gap in IPPD2 as duplicate accounts could be used to perpetuate fraud.
The validation of account numbers during input is very critical to mitigating the risk of fraud in payroll processing.’
BY Samuel Boadi
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