CAGD denies pension payments of GH¢393,315 to 59 deceased pensioners
Mr Cephas Dodoo, Head of Public Relations, Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), says the Department has not made payments to 59 deceased pensioners as reported by the Auditor-General’s Report.
He said, however, at the time of the audit, the pensions payment to the deceased pensioners had already been stopped after CAGD was notified of their demise.
Mr Dodoo disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the Department’s reaction to the Auditor-General’s Report implicating CAGD on illicit payments to deceased pensioners.
He said the report referred to in the article was a portion of management’s letter to the audits of military pensioners who had passed on but information about their demise was not communicated to the Department promptly for deletion to be effected.
He stressed that the widows of the dead military officers were entitled to widows’ pension, however, following the deletion of the names of the deceased military personnel, the Department set up a recovery of the amount involved against the monthly benefit payable to the widows.
“The process of recovery from the widows was in progress,” Mr Dodoo added.
Mr Dodoo said the business process for pension payroll administration required CAP 30 institutions to provide inputs to CAGD for the payments of benefits to pensioners.
“When a pensioner dies the institution or families of the deceased equally have the responsibility of informing CAGD, unfortunately, information about the death of the 59 pensioners were delayed,” he added.
Mr Dodoo said even though the management letter on the subject matter acknowledged the difficulty of CAGD to stop the payments of benefits because of late reporting of the deceased, the publication failed to highlight this fact together with CAGD responses to the observation.
He indicated that, “it is our hope that the Birth and Death Registry will soon complete their digitalisation process and be integrated with the Pension Payroll System, which would enable deletion of pensioners as soon as death certificates were issued.”
Mr Dodoo stressed that CAGD had since July 2023, embarked on CAP 30 Pensioners Biometiric Data verification exercise which would enable them to link the NIA numbers to the pension database as part of many internal control interventions to enhance payroll integrity.