The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has said that government stands a chance of saving about GH₵10 billion if the payroll cleansing exercise is completed.
According to the Commission, from last year to the first three months of this year, it undertook a preliminary monitoring in collaboration with the Internal Audit Agency, which covered about 58 public institutions.
22% of wage bill might be made up of unearned salaries
The Commission explained that if the 58 institutions were to represent the total public sector, 22% of the wage bill might be made up of unearned salaries.
What is unearned salary?
A person receives an unearned salary when they are legally entitled to a certain sum of money but have already earned their salary plus additional funds or when they resign but are inadvertently still on the payroll.
GH₵44.9bn wage bill for 2022
The Chief Executive Officer of FWSC, Benjamin Arthur indicated that the 2022 wage bill was GH₵44.9 billion, and that if 22% of that amount were allocated to unearned pay, that amount would be close to GH₵10 billion.
He pointed out that the number is almost a quarter, which is enormous given that the nation needs money for other areas of the economy.
The commission said this during a consultative meeting with the Civil Service and Local Government Service on the ongoing Nationwide Payroll Monitoring Exercise.
The purpose of the meeting was to explain to the leadership of the Civil Service and the Local Government Service the purpose and scope of the payroll monitoring exercise.
Benjamin Arthur noted that the commission’s large focus on the payroll monitoring exercise is on education, health and Public administration.
State Owned Enterprises
“We are also collaborating with the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) to also help us do that for the State Owned Enterprises,” he stressed.
Fairness and equity in pay administration
He said that the exercise is to ensure fairness and equity in pay administration as well as to manage the public sector wage bill effectively.
He added that the country must be concerned about the anomalies in the Public Sector Payroll and minimise irregularities to save money to support the economy.
The Chief Executive stated that the challenges which will be addressed in the payroll monitoring exercise will include wrong placement, unearned salaries, separated staff and Ghost workers, unapproved benefits and other forms of payroll fraud.
He added that the exercise will be effective as long as the commission exists.
He said the exercise will cover the entire public sector institutions and employees except Article 72 Office Holders.
Exercise divided into 4 zones
He stated that the exercise had been divided into four zones, adding that this year the monitoring team would focus on education, health, and public administration institutions.
10 teams deployed
Mr Arthur noted that ten teams had been deployed for the exercise and about 28 institutions had so far been engaged.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Ignatius Baffour-Awuah urged the FWSC to broaden engagement with all relevant stakeholders to make the exercise successful.
Head of Civil Service Nana Kwasi Agyekum Dwamena, appealed to the FWSC to attach “human face” and protect the confidentiality of workers while correcting the wrongs.
He asked the leaderships of the various institutions to hold durbars and explain the exercise to their staff to avoid agitations.
“This is a crucial national assignment so it is something that we all support. We are not using this as a punitive measure but wrongs must be corrected.” he said.