Auditor-General Chases Ghosts

Daniel Domelevo

The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, has cautioned heads of institutions that they have a responsibility to ensure that the people who are employed in their institutions are real and not “ghosts.”

He has, therefore, warned that heads of ministries, departments, agencies and institutions who fail to help remove “ghosts names” drawing salaries from the government payroll in their respective units, would be surcharged for the financial loss caused the government.

He bemoaned the fact that almost half of Ghana’s total revenue was used to pay less than one million Ghanaians adding “and that is why the ghosts have to be removed”.

He disclosed that government’s expenditure on the payroll was very huge, adding “currently, we are using about 45 per cent of the country’s total revenue to pay salaries”.

He continued “so we use close to 50 per cent of government revenue to pay 600,000 workers on government’s payroll while the country’s population is about 28 million. This does not give government the space to develop the country”.

“It is not proper that some ‘ghosts’ will still find their names on government payroll and take salaries while many young graduates stay home,” he added.

Mr Domelevo revealed this at the Western regional launch of the National Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit in Takoradi on Monday.

It was attended by all heads of government agencies and other institutions in the region.

The Auditor-General is conducting a nationwide Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit of the Government of Ghana Payroll.

This special audit is in line with Section 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).

The Auditor-General has therefore informed all government employees in the Western Region to prepare for the exercise.

The exercise is scheduled to begin in the region from August 14 to August 28, 2018.

It was revealed that in the Western Region, a total of 41,000 workers are expected to be verified at various points to be set up in the various district capitals.

He also warned that employees, who did not participate in the exercise and also failed to give tangible reasons, would have their salaries stopped by the Auditor-General and dealt with by the law.

Mr Domelevo gave the assurance that the audit service would ensure professionalism in the verification process to ensure that genuine people were unduly victimized or unjustly treated.

He asked government employees to see the on-going payroll audit as a collective responsibility towards effective national development.

“You must fully cooperate with the audit service personnel by providing all documents and information required for the exercise to minimise the recurrence of unearned salaries”, he told the participants.

George Swanzy Winful, Deputy Auditor-General, in charge of Central Government Audit Department, explained that the initiative was to help make judicious use of government’s limited revenue to support the rapid socio-economic transformation of the country.

He also appealed to all government agencies to cooperate to make the exercise successful.

He assured them that all vulnerable groups, nursing mothers, sick persons and health professionals would be given preferential treatment due to their circumstances.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Gifty Eugenia Kusi, lauded the move by the Auditor-General to ensure that all irregularities were erased from the government payroll to help secure state resources.

She then called on the heads of institutions to convince their staff on the need to avail themselves for the exercise.

The deputy minister who went through the verification exercise at the programme, called for coordinated efforts of all actors to ensure that by the end of the exercise the payroll would be cleaned.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi