COVID-19 stops Auditor-General from retrieving GH¢564 million paid to 7,823 ‘ghosts’, others

The Auditor-General’s Department would have to wait till the end of the coronavirus pandemic to retrieve some GH¢ 564. 2 million from the heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Almost GH¢468 million of the monies were paid to 7,823 persons non-existent in the books of the MDA, popularly referred to as ‘ghost names’. GH¢87,560,632.53 were paid to discontinued employees, and GH¢ 8,661,338.37 were for wrongly paid salary arrears, according to the Auditor-General’s report.

The names of 84 employees who had attained statutory retirement age and had no contract extension were still on the payroll, according to the report.

The Auditor-General’s Department discovered after a nationwide payroll audit from July 2018 to January 2020, in line with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).

“Though we have the intention to disallow the continuous existence of the employees who could not be accounted for on the payroll, we have delayed exercising this mandate owing to the unusual times in which we are, following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the country,” Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo stated in the nationwide payroll audit report.

He was quick to add, “We plan to exercise this mandate and ensure the recovery of all unearned salaries immediately after the spread of the Coronavirus is contained”.

Ghana’s confirmed cases stand at 5,530 with 674 recoveries and 24 deaths.

The 7,823 ‘ghost names’ were part of a total of 522,478 supposed active employees expected.

The Auditor-General’s Department said they have recommended to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to ensure “the termination of the unaccounted for employees on the payroll”.

“The heads of MDAs should also ensure the full recovery of the unearned salaries from the affected persons”.

Personnel records during the enumeration exercise showed mismatches in the salary grades of some 1,200 employees when compared with their actual grades on their appointment/promotion letters.

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that Heads of MDAs/MMDAs together with CAGD should ensure that salaries earned by employees are commensurate with
their current position or grade and those employees are appropriately placed.

The report indicated that a total of 19,203 academic certificates presented during the enumeration exercise were suspected to be fraudulent.

“A total of 7,407 out of the 19,203 suspicious certificates were confirmed
to be genuine and 62 found to be fake. Due to the challenges encountered by
the universities in querying our data, they were unable to confirm the outstanding 11,734 certificates,” the report noted.

Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of government employees with the numerical strength of 93,342 followed by Greater Accra with a staff strength of 79,116. The Eastern Region is the third-highest with 58,997 followed by Brong Ahafo, Central, Northern, Volta, Western, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

You might also like
1 Comment
  1. Kwasi says

    The auditor general should not rest till something is done to salvage the state treasury. I think his move will help decrease the country’s fiscal deficit

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.