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|Finance Detects More Ghost Payrolls|
|Published on October 24, 2008||Email To Friend Print Version
By D Kaihenneh Sengbeh
Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has alarmed that the government’s payroll is still blotted with enormous ghost names, defrauding the government and people of needed revenues that could contribute to the country’s reconstruction.
He said a new workable process has been instituted to thoroughly clear the payroll of ghost names and abolish taxpayers’ monies from entering into wrong pockets.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at the Finance Ministry, Minister Ngafuan identified the new method of clearing the payroll of ghost names as deletion of bogus names, a process already affecting the Ministry of Education. It will affect all ministries of government with in the next few months.
He disclosed that following a payroll verification exercise and examination, at least 1,000 names have been deleted from the Ministry of Education’s payroll.
The names deleted were either duplicated or spurious. The Finance and Education Ministries along with the Civil Service Agency took the decision to delete the bogus names as a way of breaking the cycle of corruption.
The Minister indicated that though the names were duplicated, if people bearing them exist and come up to claim, prove that they are legitimate employees of government; their names would be reinstated and paid retroactively.
Some 180 members of the Monrovia Consolidated School System Teachers Association have in recent days threatened to stage a protest because their names have been deleted from the payroll. The protest follows the Ministry of Finance’s decision.
Minister Ngafuan said if those who are crying foul can prove that they are true civil servants, their names will reaper on the payroll and they would be paid their just salaries.
He said following the deletion of 1,080 names, less than 200 persons were complaining, and this suggests that there are indeed significant amount of ghost names that need to be cleared off government’s payroll.
The issue of payroll has always been a very serious problem at the Finance Ministry, Ngafuan said, but his administration will leave no stone unturned in breaking the camel’s back and institute transparency with regard to the age-old payroll frauds.
Describing the current situation of government’s payroll as “temporary turbulent time,” Ngafuan called on legitimate civil servants not to tremble for nothing would be done to defraud them, or remove their names unjustly from the payroll.
He said any delays in civil servants’ salary payment is regrettable, “but it won’t last long because we want to right the wrong and avoid “living ghosts” from defrauding government of needed revenues.”
Meanwhile, Minister Ngafuan has disclosed that the Ministry has received several complaints relating to payroll frauds and investigations are on going into these complaints.
“When the investigations are over, we will take the appropriate actions to send a signal that gone are the days when people would not cheat others and go with impunity,” he sounded.
The government’s current payroll is approximately 48,000 after more than 17, 000 ghost names have been deleted in recent years.