Following the deletion of ghost names from the database of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Deputy Auditor-General George Winful revealed on UTV, the reason why ghost names end up on government payroll.
According to Mr. Winful, ghost names are recorded when heads of government agencies refuse to follow HR protocols and report to the Controller and Accountant-General, staff who quit, are promoted or die. Basically, CAGD needs to know at any point in time what is happening with the Human Resources to be able to adjust government payroll accordingly. However, it has become the norm that heads of state institutions either refuse or just don’t know they have to alert the CAGD of such staff changes.
Links to corruption
There are allegations of people who receive salary at the end of the month from the Controller who do not work for government but as of the time of this report, not a single person has been prosecuted for receiving money they are not entitled to from government. Many believe there are people high up in the public sector who arrange with individuals to dupe the state.
Toll on public purse
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has had cause to call people involved in the ghost names menace “unpatriotic Ghanaians who have caused the state to lose substantial amounts of revenue”.
The president has revealed that through a payroll audit conducted by the Ministry of Finance, some 26,589 workers’ salaries were suspended from the April 2017 payroll, and that maintaining those names cost government over GH¢433 million a year. This was savings for just a month.
Deputy Auditor-General George Winful has also declared the so-called ghost on government payroll as “enemies” and has called on workers to help them eliminate those names from the payroll.
“Our common enemy is the ghost and so it is important that these workers help us to wipe this menace off because it has become a worry to us as a country,”
Government has already started a nationwide audit of its payroll to ascertain the exact number of ghost names and then take steps to sanitize the payroll.