Deputy Minister calls for cooperation for verification team

By
Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Oct. 13, GNA – Mr Frank Fuseini
Adongo, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister has admonished all heads of
departments in the region to appropriately inform their officials to take
government’s Nationwide Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit seriously.

He said the office of the Auditor–General
(A-G) requested for the exercise to clean the public payroll of anomalies
detected in spite of the intermittent clean-ups in the past. Among some of the
key concerns the Auditor- General’s Department observed was the widespread use
of fake certificates.

This, he said resulted in many civil servants
receiving salaries based on promotions that they were not entitled to, adding
that unqualified employees and ghost workers who drew salaries from the public
purse, invariably drained the economy, and raised questions from
anti-corruption agencies.

Mr Adongo who was speaking at a meeting of
Heads of Departments in the region with the A-G and his team, emphasised that
resources were spent to unravel the rot on the payroll, and entreated all civil
and public servants to cooperate with the verification team who were in the
region to commence the exercise.

He noted that the 1992 constitution of Ghana
made specific provisions designed to address vexed questions of corruption, and
taking state funds without working for it, adding that Article 218 (e) enjoined
the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to
investigate all instances of suspected corruption and misappropriation of
public funds by public officials, and take appropriate steps to retrieve them.

Quoting the same chapter on the code of
conduct for a public officer, Mr Adongo said Article 284 provided that “a
public officer shall not put himself in a position where his interest conflicts
or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”

He said government in line with these and
other provisions, had taken steps to close all gaps and leakages which public
officials used to loot public funds through the appropriate institutions such
as the Audit Service.

“I must state that corruption has become so
common and seen acceptable by most Ghanaians in our daily endeavours such that
some of us see corrupt practices as normal. A cross section of society have
associated extreme poverty and perverse inequality of citizens as part of the
causes of corruption. However, this is not justifiable to embrace corruption.”

In this light, Mr Adongo said the government
of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo established the office of the Special
Prosecutor to work with anti-corruption agencies and public services to reduce
corruption and bring corrupt officials to book.

“I must say that if each of us shun corruption
and its associated issues, we will soon make the Office of the Special Prosecutor
an Advisory Body rather than a Prosecuting Institution,” he said.

Mr George Swanzy Winful, Deputy A-G, said the
exercise was to assure the office of the A-G that all those on the Controller
and Accountant General’s payroll were really genuine government employees who
deserved the salaries that they take.

“So to establish this fact, we have asked them
to provide us with the relevant information which we will collaborate with
information that is on the Controller and Accountant General’s payroll system
to enable us provide assurance as to the genuineness of names on the
government’s payroll.”

He said the exercise would be done
simultaneously in the Upper East and Northern Regions, and the team would later
move to the Ashanti Region in November to finish with the entire regions
outside Greater Accra where the final exercise would be done in December this
year.

Mr Winful called on heads of departments to
take advantage of the exercise and cooperate with the team to be assured that
the people that they managed were truly government employees and deserved their
salaries.

He added that the team expected them to
furnish it with information regarding people who were separated from the
payroll with notice to the Controller and Accountant General and their names were
still on the payroll.

GNA

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