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General News
Danger: Too Many People On Gov''t Payroll 8/21/2007
The Controller and Accountant General, Mr Christian Sottie, has said that the country is overrunning its payroll budget for the year.

He explained that the Controller and Accountant-General''s Department (CAGD) had as of June, which is the middle of the year, already spent about ¢11 trillion out of the ¢19 trillion budgeted for wages and salaries for the whole year.

Mr. Sottie told the Daily Graphic on Monday, that the situation called for a head count in some public organisations.

Consequently, he said, his outfit had plans to recruit students on vacation between September and October for the exercise, adding that a similar exercise last year yielded fruitful results.

He indicated that the head count was likely to begin with the public health sector where the staff list had witnessed persistent increases within one year.

He added that the number of health workers which stood around 42,000 last year had increased to 52,000 this year without any clear explanation.

In his reaction, the Director of Human Resource of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Ken Sagoe, said he was in favour of the head count provided the government would provide funds.

Explaining a possible reason for the increase on the staff list, he said the problem began when instead of transferring the existing list from the old Integrated Personnel Payroll Database (IPPD I) to the IPPD II, the staff were asked to compile a new list from the districts up to the head office.

Dr Sagoe said the system rejected the names of thousands of staff who had problems with their personal records at the time, adding that they had to be added to the list later on a monthly basis.

He mentioned the discrepancies to include misspelling of names, wrong staff numbers, wrong arrangement of names, removal or addition of hyphens in between names and wrong designations.

Dr Sagoe said when the staff were first paid from the IPPD II in June 2006, a total of about 38,000 workers were paid leaving out about 5,000 because of the discrepancies.

He added that more members of staff whose mistakes had been corrected were added to the list as and when they were received at the head office from the regions.

He also pointed out that some 1,938 recruits who had already been given financial clearance by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning but were not on the payroll because of the restructuring of the health workers'' pay system, were added to the list in February this year.

"This year alone about 4,484 names who were either old staff whose names were taken off or new staff who had their staff numbers from the ministry have been added to the staff list," he pointed out.

The director said one other area which was causing the increase was the health training institutions whose students were also paid by the GHS and were therefore on the pay toll.

He said further that to fulfill the government''s policy of expanding students intake, the number of students had been increased since 2002 and continued that last year alone 6,000 trainees were admitted, putting the present number of students at 10,009.

Dr Sagoe hinted that about 7,000 students would be admitted this academic year to help ease the persistent shortage of nurses and other health workers, apart from doctors, in the country.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, had also in recent times complained about the increase in the staff list of the health sector and stressed that the situation could impact negatively on the national budget if not checked.

Daily Graphic

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