About 240 government employees from the Jirapa municipality in the upper west region of Ghana are expected to travel all the way to the headquarters of the Ghana Audit Service in Accra for a payroll audit exercise after flaws in the 2019 Payroll Audit exercise in october last year that got them described as “ghosts or persons earning unaccounted salaries”. The victims who say they fully participated in the last Payroll Audit exercise were shocked to be served with an urgent invitation to Accra for the exercise again.
The employees most of whom are teachers and health workers were invited through a press statement signed by the deputy Auditor General Mr George Swanzy Winful. The statement said over 10,000 government employees in the country of which over 240 victims are from Jirapa have either no justification or insufficient information to continue to draw salaries from the public purse.
Speaking to some victims who were in a bus to Accra on Sunday Feb 2, they spoke with frustration.
“I fully participated in the exercise when it reached here in Jirapa. I am here with my friends and we all participated fully. We gave them all the documents they needed for the exercise. After perusing my documents, i was told i had no problem. So I find it annoying for them to turn around and tell us that we have either no justification or insufficient information to continue drawing salaries from the public purse. In fact, this is a total failure on the part of those officers who came and conducted the exercise. I wish they could be identified and punished appropriately” said one of the frustrated victims.
“It is very clear that someone has slept on duty. I’m sending the same documents I presented on their request in October last year. Nothing has changed. For me, I think they want to punish innocent employees because the over 240 victims can not be described as ghost when we are fully at post working very hard for mother Ghana”. A victim said.
Another teacher said,
“This is certainly not a good experience. Look, we are traveling all the way to Accra. Look at the cost involved. Look at the risk involved. Look at the instructional hours we are going to miss. This affects productivity so I would have been solaced if the officers who caused this could be identified and dealt with appropriately. I would have recommended that such officers salaries should rather be stopped and also for them to compensate all employees who genuinely can not be described as earning unaccounted salaries”
The enumeration which started on January 29, 2020 will end on February 11, 2020.
Victims were given the ultimatum that “failure to honour this final invitation will result in the Auditor-General exercising his powers under Article-187(7) to disallow the existence and surcharge such persons on the payroll”
By Sir Dicey