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Corruption Watch: Auditor-General blames HR heads of MDAs for ghost names

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Domelevo

George Swanzy Winful, Deputy Auditor-General of the Ghana Audit Service has blamed the heads of Human Resource (HR) Departments of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the over 7,823 ghost names discovered on government’s payroll.

According to Mr Winful, the HR heads at the various MDAs do not properly validate or update the integrated payroll systems made available to them by the Audit Service.

He made the assertion in an interview on Corruption Watch, the anti-graft discussion segment of Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Friday.

Mr Winful explained that heads of the HR departments are responsible for updating the Auditor-General (AG) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) through the integrated payroll system and Electronic Salaries Payment Vouchers (ESPV) respectively.

He added that employees who, for one reason or the other, no longer work with the MDAs must have their names taken out of government’s payroll system by the HR heads, using the above systems.

AG uses what is called the integrated payroll system and the MDAs have the same system which the HR heads have access to and are responsible for updating it because when an employee at the MDA resigns or is sacked, the AG wouldn’t know. AG will only know if the system is validated or updated and names of employees who have been sacked or have resigned will be struck out, he said.

He, however, observed that most of the MDAs don’t comply with the simple job of updating the system with names of employees who may have resigned or gotten themselves sacked and even for those who do so, they don’t do so properly.

He also blamed the CAGD for failing to discontinue payments of salaries to employees of MDAs who had either been dismissed or resign or die, despite knowing fully that such employees were no longer workers at the MDAs.

The Auditor General’s Department in a recent report detected that the public purse has lost an amount of ¢564.2 million to ‘ghost’ names on the payroll of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The unaccounted-for employees make up ¢467.6 million of the total unearned salaries.

The periodic audit exercise, which was carried out in 2018, in accordance with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) revealed that 7,823 ‘ghost’ employees existed in 21 MDAs.

According to the report, the various MDAs include ministries of Education, Finance, Energy, Defence, Communications, Information, Health, the Interior, Railway Development and Foreign Affairs.

The Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo has, therefore, declared his intention to surcharge the heads of these MDAs under whose watch the ¢564.2 million losses occurred.

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