‘No payroll mafias in C&A-G’

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has rebutted allegations that there are payroll ‘mafias’ at the department, who are frustrating the implementation of recommendations by the international audit firm KPMG, which could bring to an end the ghost name menace that has engulfed the public sector payment system.

An Accra private newspaper alleged that the CAGD has failed to implement the recommendations of the KPMG, and attempts by Softtribe, a private IT firm contracted by the government to clean the payroll, was also frustrated by the system.

The paper also added that calls on the department to migrate the payroll of subvented institutions onto ‘Akatua’ one of its payment systems, have also proved futile.

But at a press conference in Accra yesterday to respond to the allegations, the Controller and Accountant General, Mrs. Grace Adzroe, said the facts as reported by the paper, were erroneous.

According to her, the CAGD as at the end of December last year, has migrated 120 subvented agencies out of a total of 140 agencies onto the mechanised payroll.

Mrs. Adzroe said after the Finance Minister directed the department to migrate the remaining subvented organisations onto the Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) 3, agencies mentioned in the publication as those not migrated, had already been migrated in 2011, acknowledging that “The rest of the agencies referred to in the publication have not yet been migrated due to legal and policy issues raised by the agencies which are being addressed”.

Responding to Policy Think Tank Imani Ghana, on payroll data on IPPD 3, Mrs. Adzroe said “Since the implementation of the IPPD 3 payroll system, the payrolls of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and pensioners are equally confronted with the same challenges which are being addressed by the department”.

The cleaning of questionable promotions and recruitment dates, wrong and zero bank account numbers, staff without SSF numbers, were part of the exercise the department was undertaking.

Touching on concerns raised by the GES concerning their payroll, which runs on IPPD3, Mrs. Adzroe said grade and salary inconsistencies and inconsistent application of incremental jumps, could lead to distortions in the payments.

On claims that 70 per cent of the payroll is run by IPPD 3, Mrs. Adzroe said the module runs on two payrolls — GES and Pensions — out of 134 payrolls on the mechanised payroll system.

“The impression created that the CAGD is not taking action to improve the payroll challenges is wrong” she said.

Mrs. Adzroe said the Finance Ministry, in collaboration with the Public Services Commission, and a cabinet committee, were expected to review and address the challenges on the payroll and the development and implementation of Electronic Salary Payment Voucher system to allow heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to determine who was being paid, on a monthly basis.

By Julius Yao Petetsi & Joy Addae-Madzi         

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