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General News of Monday, 23 April 2018


Double pay scandal: CID probes ex-gratia payment

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has extended its investigations to the ex-gratia paid Members of Parliament (MPs) accused of receiving double salaries when they served as ministers of state under the previous regime.

This is because the accused MPs have told investigators that the double payments were deducted from their ex-gratia.

The former ministers, who doubled as MPs, who allegedly drew salaries as MPs and ministers of state at the same time, told the CID that they detected the double salary anomaly and notified the authorities for the right thing to be done.

Sources told The Finder that the CID is working closely with parliament to examine the ex-gratia paid the accused MPs to ascertain whether the detected double payments were actually deducted from their ex-gratia.

It is unclear the number of former appointees under investigations as the police and parliament are tight-lipped on the issue for now.

According to the sources, both parliament and the police have decided not to provide any further information at the moment until investigations progress to a certain point.

This, the sources said, was necessary to avoid providing contradictory information on the issue when concrete findings have not been established.

The CID is focusing on suspects who took full salaries as MP and another as minister.

How it happened

The double salaries became possible because the pay departments of both parliament and the Controller and Accountant-General's Department (CAGD) do not communicate.

Parliament is a subvented organisation, which allows it to pay its officers directly.

Therefore, while Controller paid the Ministers, parliament also paid the MPs who were also serving as Ministers.

As a result, the Controller and Accountant-General's Department is on the defensive explaining that it cannot be blamed for the payment of double salaries for some ministers.

A minister is paid GH¢15,739, but a minister who is also an MP takes GH¢16,423.

Some MPs serving as ministers took salaries for both positions, and as a result bagged GH¢32,162 a month.

Some of the accused MPs have explained that they followed the rules, which require a minister who is an MP to choose one of the two pay packages.

They opted to take a minister's salary, which is GH¢16,423, in December 2016, higher than an MP, who was entitled to GH¢13,686.

Such persons, therefore, received a top up of GH¢2,737 per month to finish off on a minister's salary.