Govt Recovers GHC34m From Removing Ghost Names – Special Prosecutor’s Reveals

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) have collaborated to uncover substantial irregularities within the Government of Ghana’s Payroll Administration, resulting in the saving of GHC34,249,737.60 for the 2024 financial year.
The money was being paid to ghost workers.
In a press release shared on its official platform after the report publication, the OSP confirmed the identification and removal of unauthorized individuals from the government payroll, leading to significant financial recuperation for the Republic.

One major discovery highlighted in the joint findings concerned the Northern Region’s payroll system covering educational institutions managed by the Ghana Education Service and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

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The investigation disclosed that an alarming number of unauthorised and inactive validators were overseeing the validation processes within this region.

The report shed light on the misuse of credentials belonging to deceased, retired, or transferred validators, as well as instances where staff members were being validated by units they were no longer affiliated with, raising concerns about accountability and data accuracy in the payroll system.

An egregious case exposed the existence of a fictitious entity, at the DA Primary School in the Kumbungu District, falsely represented as operational with phantom staff members who were receiving monthly payments after validations.

Further anomalies included headteachers and unit heads validating individuals whose status or whereabouts were unknown, including those who had passed away or left their posts, feeding into erroneous salary disbursements.

Of the initially identified high-risk group of 1,265 individuals on the payroll, clearing assessments verified 1,020 persons as legitimately validated. Upon verification, blocked salaries worth GHC2,854,144.80 attributed to deceased, retired, or missing individuals were unfrozen and reinstated for authenticated beneficiaries.

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Moreover, by eliminating these irregularities and removing “ghost names,” the Government of Ghana saved GHC34,249,737.60 for the current fiscal year, with anticipated future savings and increased transparency in payroll management.

The OSP emphasized the vital role of the joint investigation in safeguarding public funds, underscoring the necessity for continued vigilance and oversight to prevent such fiscal misconduct.
The revelations underscore the imperative of robust systems and controls to fortify financial accountability within governmental institutions for the benefit of all citizens.

Source: Dailyguide

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