Government has suspended the salaries of 2,690 public workers pending the outcome of investigations into dubious payroll documents covering the employees.
Government is hoping the investigations would lead to prosecutions. Finance Minister Seth Terkper told Parliament on Thursday the suspension of the more than 2,000 workers’ salaries is among several measures adopted by the government to clean the public payroll of ghost names.
Addressing the House on the implication of the fall in crude oil prices on the 2015 Budget, the Minister said, “The names of employees with zero bank accounts numbers were identified and suspended from the payroll system. As at the end of February 2015, 44,496 names out of the total number of 47,186 employees were validated by the Audit Service and restored onto the payroll”.
He also revealed that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has begun another exercise to suspend the salaries of employees on the mechanised payroll without Social Security numbers.
He said under a new directive employees on the mechanised payroll have been given up to March 31, 2015 to update their records after which it will be permanently removed.
“Following the success in using the E-Switch [E-zwich] for public sector wage payments, the exercise has been extended to the payment of allowances of National Service Personnel and will be extended to all employees on the mechanised payroll.
“The aim of this exercise is to validate employees using the E-Switch database. For the month of February 2015, the National Service Secretariat paid its personnel on E-switch cards. The exercise will ensure a single identity for each employee on the payroll”, Seth Terpker said.
Also, public sector payroll system has been integrated into GIFMIS Financials and GIFMIS Hyperion has been completed, the Minister said.
The integration, he said is to facilitate monitoring and strengthen budgetary control over payroll.
“Ghosts names” or dubious bank accounts covering non-existent workers have invaded government payrolls, enabling heads of departments and accountants to siphon money from the public purse into their pockets.