Ghost names receive GH₵2.8m in salaries each month – OSP

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A joint investigation by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller & Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has uncovered a massive payroll rot in the Northern Region. The findings show that at least GH₵2.8 million is paid every month to ghost names in the region.

According to the report, only the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the Ghana Education Service in the region uses the government’s payroll system. Even in those two institutions, the payroll is managed by several “unauthorized and inactive validators.”

Apart from salaries being paid to people who have died or left the positions for which they are paid for, there are even institutions that do not exist but have staff that are being paid by the government. One such instances is a discovery that a primary school in Kumbungu that does not exist has staff who are paid monthly salaries.

A statement by the OSP said the investigation apart from saving millions of Cedis every month would save the tax payer GH₵34,249,737.60 in 2024. According to the OSP, the same investigation will be carried out in the remaining regions to clean the payroll of ghost names.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller & Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) have released findings into the Government of Ghana Payroll Administration. The investigation covered employees on the Government payroll in the Northern Region only.

The OSP and CAGD observed that the payroll system in the Northern Region (covering educational institutions under Ghana Education Service and the Tamale Teaching Hospital only) is attended to by an alarming number of unauthorised and inactive validators. In one instance, it was discovered that a primary school in the Kumbungu District of Ghana Education Service did not exist at all. Yet, this non-existent contrived entity was represented as staffed and the purported staff were being validated monthly and being paid salaries.

A staggering amount of GHC2,854,144.80 was identified as unearned monthly salaries, attributed to individuals who were deceased, retired, no longer in their positions, flagged as missing, or whose whereabouts were unknown, commonly referred to as “Ghost Names.”

By blocking these payments and removing the corresponding individuals from the Government Payroll, the Republic saved GHC34,249,737.60 for the 2024 financial year. Additionally, ongoing savings are expected for subsequent years, along with potential upward pay adjustments, thanks to the detection of these unearned salaries facilitated by the joint investigation of the OSP. The OSP and CAGD are engaged in enhanced investigation into the educational institutions under Ghana Education Service in the Northern Region and the Tamale Teaching Hospital aimed at the prosecution of persons who promoted the non-existent school; validated deceased, untraceable, and retired persons and persons who have vacated their posts.

subsequent phases of the investigation will extend to the remaining fifteen regions.

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