OSP, CAGD save GH¢34.2m …through payroll checks Dec ‘23–April ‘24

A joint investiga­tion and assess­ment of the Gov­ernment Payroll Administration conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller and Accountant General Department, (CAGD) has saved Ghana an amount of GH¢34,249,737.6 for December 2023 to April 2024.

The two institutions also stopped the payment of GH¢2,854,144.80 traced as representing unearned monthly salaries being paid to persons, who aredeceased, retired, vacated their posts, flagged as missing staff, or whose whereabouts are unknown (colloquially referred to as “Ghost Names”) from their respective effective dates to Janu­ary 2024, when it was blocked by the Special Prosecutor.

A report copied the Ghana­ian Times in Accra, yesterday, by the OSP, said the investigation was carried out in the Northern Region, covering educational institutions under the Ghana Ed­ucation Service (GCE) and staff of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, involving 1,265 persons.

According to the report, the blockade of the amount of GH¢2,854,144.80 and the removal from Government Payroll of the corresponding deceased, retired, post vacators, those missing, and those whose whereabouts are unknown has saved Ghana GH¢34,249,737.6 for 2024, and future savings of that amount (in addition to future periodic upward pay adjust­ments) for every year that the unearned-salaries-amount would have remained undetected but for the joint investigation and assessment by the OSP.

The report said the OSP and CAGD observed that the payroll system in the Region (covering educational institutions under the GES and the Tamale Teaching Hospital) was attended to by an alarming number of unautho­rised and inactive validators.

It said “indeed, most of the management units were found to be validating persons through the use of unauthorised and inactive validators’ credentials. That is to say, the credentials of deceased and retired validators were being actively used in the validation process. Then again, transferred validators were purporting to engage in validation with their inactive previous credentials.”

It was also observed that transferred and released staff were being validated bytheir pre­vious management units, creating the clear danger of unattested active or continuous engagement by the respective institutions.

The report noted that some schools had no management units to validate staff and per­sons affiliated with the schools were either being validated by their previous affiliated schools or were being offloaded to the nearest schools for validation. This created grave problems of unreliability of the validation process, especially in respect of the status of the nominal rolls of the district education direc­torates and the monitoring of actual attendance to duty.

For instance, the report said that it was discovered that a DA Primary School in the Kumbun­gu District of GES did not exist at all, however, this non-existent contrived entity was represented as staffed and the purported staff were being validated monthly and being paid salaries.

“It is extremely worrisome that a non-existent entity had been designated as a function­ing District Assembly Primary School and the data of the artificially created staff had found its way into the govern­ment payroll system for regular payments.”


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