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Ghana’s Finance Ministry issues statement on Payroll administration

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The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on Friday clarified several issues concerning payroll administration.

The following is the full text of a statement on the subject signed by Mr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning:

Statement

The Government, through the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) has held three press conferences: November 4th, December 4th and December 15th to address concerns regarding the Payroll Administration; in particular, issues related to the Hardware, Software Upgrades, Migration from the IPPD-1 to IPPD-2, Salary arrears, negative pays, overpayment recovery etc.

The press conferences have enabled government to reach affected staff throughout the country, providing the explanations, as well as informing them of solutions to the arrears owed arising to staff promotions, grade changes, etc.

As explained in earlier press releases, our Payroll Administration comprises of two (2) steps:

Step 1 – input on the individual staff which are keyed into the payroll system by the MDAs; the CAGD has no role / nor control over this process, as this is handled purely by the Human Resource Units of the MDAs.

Step 2 – Controller runs the payroll monthly, based on data received from a personnel database which has been keyed in by the MDAs. Thus the name Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD).

Normally, the monthly payroll at the CAGD begins with a process that runs through staff payment history to extract salary arrears arising resulting from salary grade adjustments, promotions, new recruitments etc that takes retrospective effect. Thereafter, the current month’s payroll is processed and the results are combined with the salary arrears and processed for payment through the banks.

In November and December 2008, the current month’s salaries were processed to the banks separately from the salary arrears. This is to allow GOG employees to clearly distinguish the current month’s salaries from the salary arrears.

On Thursday, 18th December, 2008, MOFEP met with officials of the Ghana Education Services (GES) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to address any issues still outstanding. During the discussions, it was identified that four (4) categories of GES staff needed immediate attention. These are:

(i) the staff who have just been hired from Training Colleges;
(ii) payment of arrears to GES staff who retired in 2008
(iii) blocked salary of staff not at post during head count exercise
(iv) teachers who have completed study leave without pay

(For information purposes, the current staff strength of GES is estimated at 246,000).

(a) The staff who have just been hired from Training Colleges:

These staff number about 2,159; and have had their employment input forms completed and lodged with the GES Headquarters. As explained above, the GES Headquarters would need to complete their processes before forwarding data to CAGD.

In the interim, the Controller and Accountant-General has been directed by MOFEP to prepare a supplementary voucher to manually process the payroll of these affected staff before Tuesday 23rd December, 2008 to enable them receive their outstanding salaries before Christmas. When schools reopen for the second term, the GES Headquarters will obtain financial clearance for this category of staff to automatically receive their salary beginning January 2009, through the normal pay process as all other staff in the Service.

(b) Payment of Arrears to GES Staff who retired in 2008

In discussions with GNAT last year (2007), an understanding was reached that an approved 10% salary increase to staff of GES in 2007 would (due to address budgetary constraints), be extended through 2008. Amongst this category of staff, is a group of staff numbering about 3,500 who retired before the full completion of payment of the arrears.

The CAGD has been encountering difficulties in paying the arrears to this category of retired staff because their names have been taken off the payroll as it is normally done when staff retire.

During the discussions, the GNAT provided the names of the affected retirees. The Controller has been directed by MOFEP to pay these persons manually before Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, all legitimate moneys due any retired staff will be paid.

(c) Blocked Salary of Staff not at Post during CAGD Head Count

These were staff who were not at post during the countrywide exercise to clean the payroll of ghost names.
If there are any persons who have been affected but are at post, we urgently request them to apply through their District Directors of Education to CAGD through GES Headquarters to regularise their records. They would then be restored and all arrears due them paid.

(d) Teachers who have completed study leave without pay

A fourth category of affected staff are the teachers who gained admission to various tertiary institutions on ‘study leave without pay’ and have completed their course of study in 2008 awaiting to be re-engaged by GES.

During our discussions, it was clarified that these staff are already within the approved staff strength of GES. As such, the GES will proceed with the re-entry formalities into the various districts and regions where vacancies have been identified; and subsequently notify the Controller for them to be placed on the payroll.

In closing, we stressed again that any affected staff in GES and any other staff on the IPPD system who may be encountering payroll difficulties are encouraged to call the CAGD on the under listed toll-free numbers:

* GT and ONETOUCH – 080010200
* MTN – 18020
* KASAPA – 10200

We are committed to be of service to our clients. Your feedback is valued to enable us improve our service. We trust that the immediate solutions to addressing the concerns of the identified categories of staff will enable all staff in the GES, other services and MDAs to have a happy holiday season.

Source: GNA

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