A total of 533 employees on the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) payroll have been found to have multiple identities, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has revealed.
According to him, in all cases of multiple identities, the employees have more than one CAGD accounts with different employee numbers.
He said the irregularities were uncovered last week during the first phase of an exercise by the CAGD and the National Identification Authority (NIA) to match employees’ database with the Ghana Card.
Speaking at this year’s Internal Audit Agency (IAA) conference in Accra yesterday, Vice President Bawumia stated that, additionally 148,060 out of the 610,000 employees’ payroll did not match anyone on the NIA database.
He said, although it was assumed that the unmatched employees were yet to register for their Ghana Card, the CAGD and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) would also undertake similar database matching exercise to determine the true state of the names on the payroll.
Currently, he stated that a report on the anomalies was being prepared for investigative agencies to investigate and prosecute anyone who was found to have engaged in fraud.
This year’s conference was on the theme “Injecting Fiscal Discipline in Resource Mobilisation and Utilisation for Sustainable Development: The Role of Internal Auditors.”
It brought together heads of state institutions, government officials, officers of the IAA, academia, private sector stakeholders, among others, to discuss government’s effort to improve revenue mobilisation and its adequate utilisation.
Vice President Bawumia explained that, government, as part of efforts to fight corruption was building the system, including integrating national databases to enhance revenue and save cost in public expenditure.
As a result, he said the SSNIT saved GH¢320 million since 2018 through biometric audit while the National Service Scheme (NSS) identified 14,000 ghost workers which was saving the country GH¢ 112 million annually.
He said the role of Internal Auditors as gate keepers of financial discipline with covered entities was critical in ensuring that the required controls were working whilst drawing management attention to avoid pitfalls in public spending.
“The preventive role of internal auditors across the public sector enhances fiscal discipline and has saved the nation millions of cedis. By their advice and vigilance public sector waste and abuses have been minimised and annual infractions reported by the Auditor-General have seen some level of decline between 2019 and 2020,” the Vice President added.
To this end, he noted that the government would continue to restructure and reposition public sector Internal Audit as an important public financial management institution to put public officers on their toes towards observing fiscal discipline in spending public funds.
Chairman of the Board of IAA, Joseph B. Winful, urged Parliament to expedite passage of the Internal Audit Service Bill to restructure and reposition public sector internal auditing for improved resource mobilisation and utilisation.
In line with the restructuring of the public sector internal auditing to move away from conventional pre-auditing to a risk-based system, he said, the IAA, in the coming year, with the support of partners roll-out End to End Audit Management Information System (AMIS) to fully automate public sector internal auditing, receive, analyze and process internal audit reports and recommendations on real-time basis.
“The system would support integration and interface with the current Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to facilitate effective internal auditing and financial reporting,” he added.
Director General of IAA, Dr Eric OduroOsae, noted that the Agency was working with the Accountant General’s Office with clamp down on payroll fraud through monthly clean up of the payroll.
He said the IAA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for prompt prosecution of individuals and institutions cited for various irregularities in internal audit reports and recovery of monies lost.
He called for a review of the conditions of service of internal auditors to motivate staff and promote industrial harmony.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS