Effective March 2024, salaries of government workers without a Ghana/ECOWAS Citizens Card will be frozen. This decision stems from the implementation of a software solution that integrates the databases of the Mechanised Payroll System of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and the National Identification Authority (NIA), incorporating real-time biometric validation for salary verification.
The primary goal of this measure is to eradicate ‘ghost names’ from the government payroll, ensuring that only legitimate employees receive payment. Beyond this, the initiative aims to enhance transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the utilization of public funds.
Addressing the launch in Accra, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia highlighted the historic significance of the new system, championed by the Office of the Vice President as part of the government’s digitalization agenda. Collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, and the National Identification Authority played a crucial role in its implementation.
Dr. Bawumia expressed confidence that the new payroll system would eliminate non-existent workers (‘ghost names’) and combat corruption in payroll management. He cited a previous success at the National Service Secretariat, where 14,027 ‘ghost names’ were removed, saving the nation GH¢120 million in 2022.
The Controller and Accountant-General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, emphasized that the initiative would foster transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the government’s payroll system, promoting judicious use of public funds. He encouraged public sector workers and CAP 30 pensioners to obtain the Ghana Card to avoid disruptions.
The Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, commended the efforts of CAGD and NIA staff, anticipating that the system would safeguard the public purse and prevent payroll irregularities. He highlighted the cost-saving benefits, both in terms of resources and the expenses associated with payroll audits.
This groundbreaking initiative aims to establish a secure connection between the worker’s identity and their presence on the payroll. Periodic validations will further fortify the system, enabling real-time validation and verification of new and existing employees. The Controller and Accountant General, Mr. Kwasi Kwaning Bosompem, explained that the system would enhance data accuracy for decision-making, operate in decentralized biometric verification centers, and eliminate the need for individuals to travel to Accra for validation and verification, thereby saving costs.
Key benefits of the new system include:
- Elimination of “ghost names” through robust biometric verification.
- Increased transparency and accountability in payroll management.
- Improved data accuracy for better decision-making.
- Cost savings from eliminating regular payroll audits.
- Decentralized biometric verification centers, reducing travel costs for users.
This groundbreaking initiative strengthens Ghana’s commitment to utilizing technology for efficient and transparent public resource management.