The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has called on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to investigate the nature of consultancies on the government payroll and their output to determine how beneficial they have been to the state.
The association said millions of cedis of the taxpayers’ money had, over the years, been spent on paying consultants, ostensibly to ensure a clean government payroll, but the situation remained the same, with the complaint of ghost names on the payroll.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, said, for instance, that the Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (ESPV) was introduced in 2014 to clean the government’s payroll.
He stated that one of the checks and balances prior to the preparation of vouchers for the payment of government workers every month under the ESPV “was the validation of the names on the pay voucher by the heads of departments and human resource managers.
What was intriguing about the implementation of the ESPV, according to Mr Addo, was the never-ending control of public service data and information.
He said it had been the practice from the first phase of the integrated payroll and personnel database (IPPD 1) in 1990 to IPPD 3 in 2016 that the consultant’s software was installed on servers at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD).
Those servers, he said, were housed at the CAGD and wondered why the Controller and Accountant General’s server on the ESPV had been placed at the service of the company running the ESPV and housed on the company’s premises.
Mr Addo, among other concerns, also questioned the duration of the contract, such that after almost three years, the private company had not been able to train local staff to handle such data om the premises of the CAGD.
He said when the software for IPPD 2 was introduced for the running of the government payroll, it generated many problems which led to the introduction of IPPD 3, adding that the introduction of IPPD 3 was able to successfully handle the payroll of the staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
“The system ran the payroll from 2012 to 2016 smoothly and successfully without any problems, but under mysterious circumstances, the contract with the managers of IPPD 3 was abrogated,” he said.
He demanded further explanation on the linkage between the public sector pay system and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric data and questioned whether the office the government set up at the Ministry of Finance that updated biometric data on the government payroll was deficient in output.
Mr Addo said his name and those of three of his executives were included in the 26,000 names that were described as ghost names and challenged the CAGD over the issue.
He wondered whether the ghost names syndrome was a ploy to “lure the authorities to think of procuring additional software for government payroll”.
“We have raised these issues to draw attention to public sector payroll games that are milking the nation,” he stated.