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Business News of Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Biometric registration blues: More public sector workers paid - Head of Gov't Payroll


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The Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) has released the salaries of 9,234 public sector workers who did not receive their salaries in April 2017.

The 9,234 were among the 26,589 public sector workers whose salaries were withheld last month following their failure to validate their data with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

According to the Head of Payroll at the CAGD, Mr George Kofi Baah, the salaries were released last Thursday.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Baah said “the remaining affected workers are currently going through the validation process with SSNIT. They will be paid at the end of this month, together with their May salaries, when SSNIT clears them”.

Comply with directive

He urged public sector workers to comply with the directive from the Ministry of Finance to biometrically register with SSNIT.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has apologised to public sector workers who were not paid last month, in spite of the fact that they had registered with SSNIT.

He said two directors at the Ministry of Finance were also affected.

He was, however, emphatic that the exercise to clean the payroll of ghost names to save the public purse was on course.

The minister said the government was committed to ridding the public payroll of ghost names and, accordingly, urged labour unions to support the government in that regard.

The Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) has released the salaries of 9,234 public sector workers who did not receive their salaries in April 2017.

The 9,234 were among the 26,589 public sector workers whose salaries were withheld last month following their failure to validate their data with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

According to the Head of Payroll at the CAGD, Mr George Kofi Baah, the salaries were released last Thursday.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Baah said “the remaining affected workers are currently going through the validation process with SSNIT. They will be paid at the end of this month, together with their May salaries, when SSNIT clears them”.

Background

A total of 457,595 public sector workers have so far complied with a directive from the government to biometrically register their data with SSNIT.

Biometric registration of public sector workers began in 2015.

Several directives have been issued to public servants over a period of more than a year, instructing them to biometrically upgrade their records with SSNIT.

However, majority of the affected public sector workers did not comply, in spite of the many reminders.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance sent a directive to the Controller and Accountant-General to withhold the salaries of the affected public servants until they complied with the directive.

Press release

A statement by the Ministry of Finance in April 2017 said Mr Ofori-Atta had, on February 10, 2017, requested the CAGD to inform all public servants on the government’s mechanised payroll system who had not registered on the new SSNIT biometric system to do so by the end of February 2017.

“This directive will come into effect on the April 2017 payroll. Consequently, those not registered with SSNIT, as directed, shall be treated as ‘ghosts’, going forward, and shall as such be removed from the payroll for April 2017.

“These two directives, resulting in the identification of close to 50,000 ghost names on the payroll and the Pensions Registry, are expected to save the country some GH¢35 million in payroll cost on a monthly basis or a total of over GH¢250 million in 2017 alone,” it saidA total of 457,595 public sector workers have so far complied with a directive from the government to biometrically register their data with SSNIT.

Biometric registration of public sector workers began in 2015.

Several directives have been issued to public servants over a period of more than a year, instructing them to biometrically upgrade their records with SSNIT.

However, majority of the affected public sector workers did not comply, in spite of the many reminders.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance sent a directive to the Controller and Accountant-General to withhold the salaries of the affected public servants until they complied with the directive.

Press release

A statement by the Ministry of Finance in April 2017 said Mr Ofori-Atta had, on February 10, 2017, requested the CAGD to inform all public servants on the government’s mechanised payroll system who had not registered on the new SSNIT biometric system to do so by the end of February 2017.

“This directive will come into effect on the April 2017 payroll. Consequently, those not registered with SSNIT, as directed, shall be treated as ‘ghosts’, going forward, and shall as such be removed from the payroll for April 2017.

“These two directives, resulting in the identification of close to 50,000 ghost names on the payroll and the Pensions Registry, are expected to save the country some GH¢35 million in payroll cost on a monthly basis or a total of over GH¢250 million in 2017 alone,” it said.

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