Ex-staff of Births & Deaths Registry still draws salary

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has given a two-week ultimatum to the Births and Deaths Registry to report to the police, a case in which an officer who has left the Registry continued to receive salaries.

The name of the officer was not mentioned for security reasons.

According to the 2013 Auditor General’s report, the officer who went on study leave abroad and  never returned, drew salaries to the tune of GH¢7,337.66.

Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, chairman of PAC, who gave the directive at the PAC’s sitting in Accra yesterday, expressed worry about the failure of state agencies to report their staffs who have engaged in criminal activities to the police for action to be taken.

That was when the Ministry of Local Government and its agencies such as Parks and Gardens, Government Secretarial School, Community Development and Vocational Technical Institute, Births and Deaths Registry as well as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, appeared before the PAC to respond to queries in the 2013 Auditor’s General Report.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said issues of theft and squandering of state monies by civil servants were criminal acts which should be reported to the police.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu, said the failure of government agencies to abide by financial regulations has resulted in the state loosing huge sums of money.

The Chairman of PAC expressed worry about the inability of the Deaths and Birth Registry to enforce it rules which made it mandatory for families to register their dead relatives before they are buried.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu, said the issue of the bloated Voters’ Register, required that the Deaths and Births Registry, steps to register dead persons so that their names could be deleted from the Voters’ Register.

The Director of the Births and Deaths Registry, John Yao Agbeko said his outfit was making efforts to retrieve the money from the staff, saying a letter had been written to him to refund the money.

Mr. Agbeko said the registration of dead people was  challenging, saying “the national coverage for deaths in 2015 was 26 per cent, and urged families, and traditional leaders to register their dead relatives before they were buried.

The Regional Accountant of the Births and Deaths Registry in Cape Coast, failed to account for revenue collected to the tune of GH¢59, 447.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, the Deputy Minister, Emmanuel Agyekum, who led the team said the issue was in court and hence he could not comment on it.

When it got to the turn of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr. Agyeman-Manu questioned why the Assembly made payments of more than one million Ghana Cedis without any document to support the payment.

The Finance Director of AMA, Samuel Aryee explained that the monies was lodged into AMA accounts, adding that the anomaly had been corrected and receipts covering the payments had been taken from the officers responsible.

By Kingsley Asare

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