The Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelovo is advocating for the decentralization of the public payroll system to better check ghost names.
Speaking at the launch of the Western Region payroll review exercise in Takoradi, he said his department would make formal recommendations to the government.
“Why do we still have the payroll sitting in Accra? Can’t we have a payroll in Takoradi; can’t we have a payroll in Tamale? This is something we should all look at because the closer the system is to the people, the easier it is to remove them [ghost names] from the payroll.”
Ghost names have been a longstanding concern in the handling of the public sector payroll.
Mr. Domelovo indicated that this was especially important given Ghana used about 45 percent of total revenue to pay salaries of only 600,000 public sector workers; about 2.4 percent of Ghana’s population.
In his experience, payroll structures in Africa have always been prone to ghost names.
“In my previous employment, I kept telling them that the way public financial management and payroll systems are in Africa, they will always have ghosts. In Africa, everywhere you go, the payroll is sitting at the head office.”
“In the long term, we shall make recommendations to the government to say how do we bring the payroll closer to the people so that the deletion can be done and done well,” Mr. Domelovo concluded.
Mr. Domelovo has noted that 12,000 workers on government payroll either die, retiree or leave public sector annually.
Thus, these names are likely to remain on the government payroll for months because of the delays resulting from the lack of decentralization.
Audit of civil service
The Auditor General’s department begun its audit of the civil service from July 17, 2018.
It has just completed work in the Central Region ahead of the exercise moves to the Ashanti Region.
The department has given a 10-day window to all civil servants across the country to present their documents and evidence of their employment.
Those unable to produce the evidence may face prosecution.