About 46000 public sector workers in the Volta Region are to be enumerated by the Audit Service as part of its Nationwide Payroll and Personnel Verification Audit, funded by the World Bank’s Public Sector Management Performance Review programme.
Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, Auditor-General, at the opening of the Volta edition of the exercise in Ho, noted that the audit had become necessary for the nation’s development, and said less than a handful of people were able to take legal action against the Service following disallowances that saved GH¢5.4 billion last year.
He said the Service was not maliciously bent on identifying people as ghosts, and cited the numerous opportunities the purge provided for the nation’s jobless graduates.
“There should be no room for panicking. Our job is not to spread panic. Our job is to find out the truth, and not in a hurry to say somebody is a ghost”, Mr Domelevo stated.
The Auditor-General described the exercise as an execution of its mandate under Section 16 of Audit Service Act, which permitted special audits when necessary, and said the Service would avail a 30-day window to enable Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) prove the authenticity of earners who might be strained out.
Mr Domelevo said salary terminations were constitutionally solidified and as such, a High Court Order remained the only means affected individuals or entities could resurface on payrolls.
He therefore charged MDCEs to exercise due diligence in their financial activities, and hinted that banks and financial institutions would also be probed on public sector fund transactions when the need arose.
Mr Domelevo further appealed for public cooperation to expose non-existing or unqualified wage earners for national grows.
Mr George Winful, Deputy Auditor in charge of payroll said the exercise was successful in the Western and Central Regions where it had been held.
He said special centres had been strategically located to ensure that the activities of staff of sensitive sectors such as security services, health, education, and the judiciary, were not distracted by the exercise.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister who became the first to be verified in the region, called on workers to be honest to the taxpayer, and support the exercise turn around the fortunes of the country.
The exercise runs from August 4 to 14 in all districts and municipalities in the Region with a number of validation centres dotted across Ho at locations such at the Regional Hospital, Mawuli Senior High School campus, the Judicial Service compound, and the Central Prisons.
Authentication requires at least two of any valid identification documents, as well as original copies of certificates, and appointment letters in addition to the Biometric Registration Form, and the SSNIT Biometric Card.
Two main offices would be established in Ho, and Nkwanta in the Nkwanta South Municipality to mop up all who might have missed the initial exercise.