The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to monitor public sector payroll as part of efforts to protect the public purse.
For an initial period of two years, subject to renewal, they would join forces to check abnormalities, help detect and remove ghost names, and promote accountability in payroll and all compensation related benefits.
The scope of their collaboration comprised the implementation of audit recommendations; research related to implementation, capacity building and joint proposal development and prospecting for funding.
At the ceremony held in Accra, the IAA Board Chairman, Joe Winful and Florence Hutchful, a representative of the IAA Board Chair (Michael Nimako), signed the pact with IAA Director-General, Eric Osae, and FWSC Chief Executive, Benjamin Arthu, serving as witnesses.
Mr Arthur explained to journalists on the sidelines of the event that the two institutions would share relevant information and take the appropriate action to ensure that public funds were safeguarded.
“We are doing this to serve Ghana and to ensure that we’ll be able to protect the public purse. That’s the main reason behind this collaboration. The idea of collaboration is good in this matter because working in silos has not helped,” he said.
Apart from the collaboration with IAA, Mr Arthur said the Commission was in talks with the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) and eventually the Audit Service for a similar collaboration.
“We have other institutions with similar mandates along certain lines. The time has come for us to collaborate and to ensure that the right things are done,” he said.
Touching on the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), he said the agreements the government and the Unions had were still in force and that modalities for the payment had been developed.
“And I’m sure maybe in about two weeks to three weeks, the government will come up to the public with the exact date that you’ll have it in your pocket, but it will be very soon,” he said.
Earlier, Ms Hutchfulsaid the MOU would help the two institutions fulfil their mandates effectively given the resource constraints on the two organisations.
She stated the FWSC’s commitment to the implementation of this MOU and expressed the hope that the partnership would yield the expected fruit and inure to the benefit of all.
Mr Winful said the collaboration was in line with the IAA’s objective of protecting the national purse and ensuring proper management of resources for the country’s socio-economic development.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR