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OSP And CAGD Collaboration Unveils Massive Payroll Irregularities – Saves Gov’t GHC34 Million



Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in collaboration with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has successfully uncovered significant irregularities within the Government of Ghana’s payroll administration. This joint effort has led to the identification and removal of unauthorized individuals from the payroll, resulting in substantial financial savings for the 2024 fiscal year.

In a press release issued after the publication of their investigative report, the OSP detailed the discovery of unauthorized payments to ghost workers, which had previously inflated the government payroll. The removal of these ghost names has led to a recovery of GHC34,249,737.60, marking a significant step towards improving financial integrity and accountability in government expenditure.

The joint investigation, which primarily focused on the payroll systems within the Northern Region, revealed alarming discrepancies in the validation processes of educational institutions managed by the Ghana Education Service and the Tamale Teaching Hospital. The investigation highlighted the presence of inactive and unauthorized validators who were managing the payroll validation process.

Key findings indicated that credentials belonging to deceased, retired, or transferred validators were being misused. Additionally, there were instances where employees were validated by departments they were no longer associated with, raising serious concerns about data accuracy and accountability within the payroll system.

One of the most egregious cases involved a fictitious entity purportedly operating as the DA Primary School in the Kumbungu District. This non-existent school was found to have phantom staff members receiving monthly salaries after being validated, contributing to the payroll irregularities.

Further anomalies included headteachers and unit heads validating individuals whose employment status or whereabouts were unknown, including those who had passed away or resigned. This improper validation process led to erroneous salary disbursements.

From the high-risk group of 1,265 individuals identified on the payroll, verification processes cleared 1,020 as legitimately validated. Consequently, salaries worth GHC2,854,144.80 that had been blocked due to their association with deceased, retired, or missing individuals were reinstated for authenticated beneficiaries.

The successful identification and removal of these irregularities not only saved the government GHC34,249,737.60 for the current fiscal year but also promises future savings and enhanced transparency in payroll management.

The OSP underscored the importance of this investigation in safeguarding public funds and stressed the need for ongoing vigilance and oversight to prevent future fiscal misconduct. These revelations highlight the critical necessity for robust systems and controls to strengthen financial accountability within governmental institutions, ensuring the responsible use of public resources for the benefit of all citizens.

This collaborative effort by the OSP and CAGD demonstrates a commitment to maintaining financial integrity and enhancing the efficacy of governmental operations in Ghana.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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