GNAT president criticizes investigation into ‘ghost names’ on government payroll

GNAT president criticizes investigation into 'ghost names' on government payroll

The President of the Ghana National Association of (GNAT) has criticised the approach taken in the conduct of the recent report alleging ‘ghost names.'

The () and the Controller & Accountant General's Department (CAGD) joint investigation covered the government's payroll administration, focusing on employees in the .

According to Rev. Isaac Owusu, the investigation was conducted without the knowledge of the Education Directorate nor the Education Ministry. Rev Owusu told 's Emefa Apawu that due process was not followed in reaching the conclusions in the report.

“This OSP issue was one of the cases we sent to the Labour Commission. And at the Labour Commission, the chief employer, which is the Director General of the and his sector Minister, Dr Yaw Adutwum, the commissioner asked them whether they were aware of the activity that the OSP was embarking on and they denied outright that they had no knowledge,” he said.

In a May 20 press release, the OSP pointed to a primary school in the Kumbungu District of the Ghana Education Service which was found to be entirely fictitious.

“It was discovered that a primary school in the Kumbungu District of Ghana Education Service did not exist at all. Yet, this non-existent contrived entity was represented as staffed and the purported staff were being validated monthly and being paid salaries,” the OSP said.

“A staggering amount of GH₵2,854,144.80 was identified as unearned monthly salaries, attributed to individuals who were deceased, retired, no longer in their positions, flagged as missing, or whose whereabouts were unknown, commonly referred to as “Ghost Names.”

GNAT President took exception to these assertions.

He wondered how these findings were possible when the OSP, per his analogy, did not go through the right procedure.

“If OSP had taken pains to visit the directorate, after the investigations if he had asked the director of Bunkrugu that I have seen school A, do you have this in your record, he didn't do any of it. We are not saying he should go and seek permission but look, this blockade of salaries cuts across the country including teachers on study leave,” he added.

The statement added that the OSP and CAGD will extend the investigations to other regions soon.

The OSP's report indicated that “By blocking these payments and removing the corresponding individuals from the Government Payroll, the Republic saved GHC34,249,737.60 for the 2024 financial year.”

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