We’re poised to fix public payroll irregularities – Audit Service

By
D.I. Laary, GNA

Wa, Oct 05, GNA –
Deputy Auditor-General Mr George Winful says the Audit Service is highly
determined to generate credible Payroll information that is robust and free
from error and corruption to place Ghana in its rightful position.

“We want to put
ourselves in a way our country takes its rightful position, the Audit Service
is poised to clean the payroll of ghosts…so that they do not resurrect,” he
told public sector workers on Tuesday in the Upper West Regional Capital, Wa.

The meeting marked the
commencement of payroll and personnel verification audit exercise in Upper West
and provided a platform for an Audit Service team carrying out the exercise to
brief public service workers about the on-going audit.

Personnel in the
public service taking their salaries from the Controller and Accountant
General’s Department (CAGD) were urged to avail themselves for the nationwide
exercise since those who would not be account for could face sanctions.

Mr Winful also
implored employees to come out in their numbers to support the enumeration
exercise to succeed in order to free space in the payroll to allow the teaming
jobless youth to be also fixed in the public sector.

“If you have
unemployed youth in your house, then you have to take this exercise seriously,
what we are doing is going to get us value for money, it will likely free some
space for those unemployed youth to also get the opportunity to work in the
public sector,” he said.

“Ghana belongs to all
of us and we have to develop it. But if we are cheating how do we develop it,”
he added: similar exercises have already been carried out in Central, Volta,
Eastern and Western regions.

He said what the audit
team found in those regions motivated them to continue in the rest of the
regions to clean up the country’s payroll one-time, but noted: “it is possible
after we have finished in December there will be ghosts in January and we will
clean again”.

Mr Winful warned that
those who would be unaccounted for would have their names deleted by the CAGD,
which was likely to trigger a legal tussle before any genuine worker could be
reinstated.

He also said Heads of
Departments could be surcharged by the Auditor-General based on evidence of
irregularities that will emerge, adding: “This is what we want to prevent”.

“We are exploring all
possible means to ensure that everybody is accounted for,” he said.

The Upper West
Regional Minister, Alhaji Alhassan Sulemana, commended the Auditor-General for
being instrumental in the discharge of its constitutional mandate and making
strides towards ensuring the public purse was protected.

Public servants in the
Region had long awaited the exercise, he said, and were glad it was their turn
to prove the validity of their employment.

The goal of the
exercise is to clean up the public payroll and rid it of ghost names. It would
also verify the current employment status of employees and establish on-going
compliance for accounting and record keeping.

Public servants were
enjoined to cooperate with the audit team since the success of the exercise
would save the state some resources for development.

“This would inure to
the benefit of all Ghanaians and not just the Auditor General,” Alhaji Sulemana
said.

Personnel are to visit
the Upper Regional Coordinating Council, the Regional Hospital, Wa Technical
Senior High School, Wa Municipal Education Service, and the Regional Health
Directorate for the exercise.

It would also take
place in the premises of all municipal and district assemblies except
Nadowli-Kaleo District where personnel are expected to go the World Vision hall
for the enumeration.

The Audit team has
also created mobile centres for vulnerable groups like special schools.

Workers were told they
could walk to any centre with their relevant documents to partake in the
exercise irrespective of the district or location they found themselves.

The regional exercise
started on Tuesday in the Wa Municipality with the Deputy Regional Minister
opening the validation. The rest of the Districts in the Region commence on
Wednesday.

GNA

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