General News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
About 14,000 public sector workers will not receive their salaries at the end of this month.
This is because the input forms sent by their heads of departments to the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) to process their salaries were not complete.
Some of the forms did not contain the bank accounts and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) numbers of the affected workers. The CAGD has, however, given hope to the affected workers by way of asking their heads of departments to rectify the anomalies to ensure the payment of their salaries.
The Controller and Accountant-General, Ms Grace Adzroe, made this known to the Daily Graphic last Tuesday.
She asked workers and civil society organisations to hold the heads of departments in charge of the validation of payroll input forms at the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) responsible for that development, not the CAGD.“People are just beating the wrong side when the wrong side is not bringing any solution,” she remarked.
Ms Adzroe said the processing of the payroll for February was likely to delay because of the assurance the CAGD had given to the affected workers to get them paid.
She said per the work plan of the CAGD, the department should be starting the processing of the February payroll by now, but that had to be suspended for the outstanding salaries to be processed.
She urged heads of departments at the MDAs to be up to the task and take a keen interest in their payrolls and human resource budgets in order to keep ‘ghosts’ out of the government payroll.
She said when salaries were paid to people who did not deserve to receive them, the CAGD, in collaboration with the heads of departments, took steps to recover the money from the undeserving recipients.
She, however, noted that where the CAGD was unable to recover the money, the heads of departments through whose inaction it was paid would be surcharged with the amount involved, in accordance with the law.
The payroll processing system requires heads of departments at MDAs to validate the input forms generated in their respective institutions before forwarding them to the CAGD for the processing and payment of salaries.
The validation form, under the heading, “Certificate of Confirmation of Continued Employment of Officers Paid Through the Bank”, provides as follows:“We the undersigned hereby certify, in accordance with the Financial Administration Regulation 304 (2004), that the name and salary details appearing for officers on the payroll for this management unit for the month of……. are correct and that payment should be made.
”The form is supposed to be signed by a human resource manager or whoever plays that role and a head of management or head of school, in the case of educational institutions, indicating their full name, staff identity number, date of signature and telephone number and passport picture attached.
The validation notwithstanding, the emergence of ‘ghosts’ on the government payroll has not only been legend and frightening; it has also been a devourer, depleting the national kitty in large measure. The Controller and Accountant-General said the validation process allowed managers of the MDAs to own the data and determine who should be paid in a particular month.
She expressed the hope that if the heads of management who validated the input forms did a thorough job, the ‘ghosts’ would be banished from the government payroll.
She said in the face of collusion by heads of management of the MDAs, the check system would break down, adding that no computer system could detect such collusion.
Explaining the payroll processing procedure, the Deputy Controller and Accountant-General in charge of Payroll Management, Mr Wisdom Messan, said payroll inputs were generated by the Personnel Processing units at the various MDAs.
The inputs are then forwarded to the CAGD for the processing of the payroll. He said when recruitment was done by the MDAs, the details of those recruited were sent to the CAGD through a linked system and in hard copy for verification before processing.
Mr Messan said the CAGD had on the payroll system the signatures of all the officers who validated the input forms for purposes of affirming the validity of the forms. He said after inputting the data in the system, the CAGD generated output forms and sent them to the MDAs for verification before they were processed for payment.
He said a payroll conference involving officers of the MDAs who keyed in data at the CAGD was also held every month to address all issues before payment was made. Furthermore, he said, the CAGD also sent monthly transaction reports to the MDAs to confirm the transactions that took place in the respective month.
The Head of Payroll at the CAGD, Mr George Baah, said the payroll system had human resource and processing components, pointing out that the MDAs were responsible for the former, while the CAGD was responsible for the latter.