“Don’t be afraid, names will remain on payroll if…” – Auditor-General

By
Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Oct. 10, GNA – Mr Daniel Yaw
Domelevo, Ghana’s Auditor-General (A-G), on Tuesday called on all persons
lawfully on government payroll to dispel fears that their names will be taken
off the payroll.

“The purpose is to remove those who are
unlawfully put on the payroll. If you are on the payroll unlawfully, we are
here for you, but if you are lawfully on the payroll, we are not here because
of you. So fear not.”

He assured especially public and civil
servants that the Nationwide Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit of the
Government of Ghana Payroll was not intended to remove their names from the
payroll but to ensure that those whose names were genuinely there remained on
it.

The A-G who said “we are in a hurry but we are
not in a hurry,” explained that his outfit was in a hurry to take people out of
the payroll, but stressed that “we are not going to do that recklessly,” adding
that it was an audit exercise which entailed a gradual process.

Mr Domelovo said these words at a meeting with
heads of departments in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, to school
them on the ongoing exercise which was in line with section 16 of the Audit
Service Act, 2000 (ACT 584).

He said they would issue “management letters”
to various management institutions, indicating the number of people who could
not be accounted for, and would have to be taken off the payroll, and noted
that per section 29 of the Audit Service Act, a 30-day span would be given to
such institutions to justify the existence of such names.

“After the 30 days if you do not come with
justification for those names, then, we will kick them out. Let’s not get to
that point because we are not going to remove them only from the payroll,” but,
clause 7(a) of Article 187 of the 1992 constitution mandates the A-G to
disallow the items of expenditure.

“I would issue a certificate to disallow your
existence on the payroll and according to article 187 clause 9, you would need
a High Court Judge to overturn my decision. It is a tall order, so take us
seriously,” he warned.

Mr Domelovo called on heads of departments to
support him eradicate ghost names from the payroll. “In fact, the most worrying
part of the issue is, today as we speak, our young ones are itching to work and
be paid but they do not have the chance, so many are unemployed, and we have
people who are not working but get paid.”

He acknowledged that the exercise had been
done severally in the past, “we apologize for that, but we have to do it again.
The truth of the matter is that the payroll has too much unlawful expenditure
and we must clear it.”

Dr Mohammed Sani Abdulai, Project Director of
the Public Financial Management Reforms Project (PFMRP) said the PFMRP was a
World Bank project which financed the activities of the A-G, and reiterated
that the intention was to get every employee on the payroll enumerated to
ensure that they were indeed the people on the payroll.

He said wages and salaries that were paid on
the budget, the debt servicing by way of payment of interest and the statuary
funds allocations were the three main key elements that confronted the nation.

Dr Abdulai said about 45 percent of the
nation’s revenues went into paying salaries of only 600,000  employees of government, “so then what is
really left when you finish paying interest and when you finish obeying the
constitution and other Acts of Parliament that have made certain statutory
allocations?, you are more or less left with 10 percent.” He emphasized.

He said the physical space was very narrow,
adding that “it is important that once in a while we look at the employees and
ask ourselves those we are paying 45 percent of our revenue to, are they really
there, and are we paying them the right salaries they ought to be receiving?”.

The exercise started in the Upper East Region
on October 9 with enumeration of heads of departments, and was expected to
continue to October 16 in 13 Municipalities and Districts, while a mop up
exercise would be done in three selected Municipalities namely: Bolgatanga,
Bawku and the Kassena-Nankana Municipalities from 17th to 23rd
of October.

GNA

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