Auditor-General to deal with recalcitrant banks

Some officials going through the  varidation process

Some officials going through the varidation process

The Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelovo, has served notice of surcharging banks doing business with monies meant for the government consolidated fund.

Describing the act as criminal, the A-G warned that as part of efforts by his outfit to wipe out excesses on the payroll, “We are going to the banks to see whether they have transferred monies of separated staff salary into the consolidated fund because we hear some of these banks use the money to work.

“We are going to surcharge them because the law says any person who falls foul, and once banks are legal persons, we will hold them accountable. In fact their surcharge will be higher because they have the ability to pay so we save our money for more profitable ventures.”

Mr Domelovo was speaking at the launch of the last lap of the nationwide payroll and personnel validation audit in the Greater Accra Region.

The exercise which begun in October this year and aimed at eliminating ghost names on the government payroll had seen public servants in all nine other regions audited.

About 78,000 government employees on payroll in Greater Accra are expected to undergo the exercise which ends on December 21, 2018.

The A-G reminded heads of institutions that they were obliged under the Financial Administration Regulation (section 299) to stop payment of salaries of separated employees both at the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) and at the banks.

“It is a legal duty for every head of management unit or department to ensure that it is only people who are genuinely employed who are paid. For all heads who are not able to provide evidence that they stopped salary of staff at the bank and Controller, we will hold you accountable and surcharge the salaries of such staff on you so make sure you do your work,” he cautioned.

Mr Domelovo indicated that “after Greater Accra we will end this phase of audit on people on the CAGD payroll and move to the public universities and subvented agencies so they should brace themselves up for us because we know the rot going on there.”

He craved the indulgence of all government employees in the region to ensure the exercise was successful stating that, “if we fail to clear such illegal people on our payroll, the wastage will be unbearable and we cannot imagine the consequences on us.”

Mr Eugene Ofosuhene, the Controller and Accountant General pledged his full support to the audit exercise which he believed would complement efforts by the Department to minimise payroll fraud and properly manage public funds.

He encouraged the various heads of government institutions to embrace reforms in the public service to bring sanity and “control payroll cost.”

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashittey on his part agreed to the fact that the audit was necessary to clamp down on the use of falsified documents in the government sector which he described as “most disturbing.”

“It would also ensure that workers are justified to be employed and that we have value for money,” he said and urged workers to cooperate to “make the audit a success and help in national development.”

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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