The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) says it will reward persons who volunteer information on payroll irregularities in public sector institutions.
The Commission last week announced that it would embark on a National Payroll Monitoring Exercise from April 1, 2023, in accordance with the FWSC Act, 2007 (Act 737).
it said the exercise would sanitise the Public Sector Payroll and help to identify the lapses and inequalities in the benefits and allowances of public sector workers.
A technical team from the Commission, led by Mr Benjamin Arthur, Chief Executive, FWSC, on Monday, April 3, 2023, at the commencement of the exercise, visited the Head Office of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) in Accra to peruse the Agency’s payroll data.
The FWSC said the visit to the IAA, who are partners to the monitoring exercise, was to ensure that “our house is clean” before moving to other public institutions.
Addressing the media ahead of the exercise on Monday, Mr Arthur said the Commission would refer suspected cases of criminality that would emerge from the exercise to the appropriate authority with prosecutorial powers.
He said the exercise would be conducted regularly across the country, adding that the Commission was hopeful about mobilising the needed resources to sustain the task.
“If we find out that people are fraudulently receiving salaries, unearned salaries, we will liaise with the appropriate authorities to take the necessary action.
“If you know you are not supposed to be on Government payroll, just quickly advise yourself before we come,” he said.
Mr Arthur appealed to the public and public sector institutions to support the Commission to successfully carry out the exercise, which was in the interest of the country and workers.
He assured that the identity of whistle-blowers, who would volunteer information would be protected.
Section 3B of the FWSC Act directs the Commission to “develop and monitor allowances and benefits of public servants and the consolidation of salaries of public servants.”
The Act further enjoins the Commission to “coordinate, manage, and monitor collective bargaining processes in which Government is the direct or indirect employer.”
Dr Eric Oduro Osae, the Director General of IAA, described the exercise as critical, saying the “compensation budget of the government is getting higher and higher, and we need to clean it up.”
He mentioned missing names, unknown names, changes in dates of birth, and the use of other people’s vehicles for car maintenance allowance as some of the irregularities that had been identified on the public sector payroll.
Dr Osae said the educational, health, and local government sectors had been identified as the “risky areas” where payroll irregularities and unearned salaries are on the increase.
“They are risky areas and if we do not keep an eye on the payroll of these sectors, it would keep bloating and it will affect us.
“If all of us work hand-in-hand and to clear up the system, the government compensation budget will come to the barest minimum, and going into the future there will be no need for us to go to the International Monetary Fund,” he said.