Gov’t tightens checks on public sector payroll to avoid fraud

Business News of Saturday, 14 March 2015



Government says it has put in place measures to address fraud on the public wage bill.

Some of the measures will include scrutinizing the payroll to remove all ghost names as well as ensuring that only personnel that are actively working are paid. It is also looking at other measures such as the use of biometric data in paying public sector workers.

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu who disclosed this to Joy Business said these measures together with other policies, will help clean the wage bill of all the waste and reported fraud.

Meanwhile, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department has initiated an exercise to update the bank account details of employees on the mechanized payroll system as part of reforms to clean the mechanized payroll data.

The names of employees with zero bank account numbers were identified and suspended from the payroll system. As at the end of February this year, 44,496 names out of the total number of 47,186 employees were validated by the Audit Service and restored onto the payroll.

The records of the remaining 2,690 employees who did not submit the required documents were suspended from the payroll permanently and are to be investigated for appropriate sanctions to be applied.

The CAGD has also begun another exercise to suspend the salaries of employees on the mechanized payroll without Social Security numbers.

However, opportunity has been provided to employees on the mechanized payroll to update their records by the end of March 2015, after which the names will be permanently expunged.

Government has also noted that, following the success in using the e-zwich for public sector wage payments, the exercise has been extended to the payment of allowances of National Service Personnel and will be extended to all employees on the mechanized payroll.

The aim of this exercise is to validate employees using the e-zwich database, and ensure a single identity for each employee on the payroll.

In a related development, Finance minister Seth Tekper said cabinet has constituted an inter-ministerial committee on payroll clean-up to identify areas for improvement in the payroll and human resource administration.

The committee will recommend measures to address the issues. He indicated that all sector ministers have been directed to provide monthly payroll reports for verification and validation.